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Simple Slow Cooker Pea Soup

It's fall.  I crave fall-worthy foods in fall, and I seem to enjoy cooking more in the fall because of the experience.  The food smells.  The warmth?  Maybe. 

Pea Soup is one of my fall favorites, even if nobody in my house will touch the two quarts of it I end up with and eventually lose in the depths of the deep freeze.  But, it's SO inexpensive to make, I don't ever feel bad about losing it, even if I only eat two bowls worth.  ;)

Emeril's Simple Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup
From the Kitchen of Emeril Lagasse
Servings: 8
Difficulty: Easy

Cook Time: Over 120 min

Ingredients

2 pounds split green peas, rinsed and picked through
1 cup onions, small diced
1/2 cup celery, small diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, small diced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 ham hock (1 1/4 pounds), skin scored
10 cups chicken stock (or canned low sodium chicken broth)
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in the crock of a slow cooker and
cover. Cook until the peas are creamy, stirring occasionally,
about six hours on low. Remove the lid and stir using a wooden
spoon.


Mash the peas with the back of the spoon and adjust seasoning if
necessary. If desired, remove the ham hock and, when cool enough
to handle, pull meat from bones and return the meat to the soup.
Discard skin and bones. Serve hot.
Yield: 3 quarts

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