Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois
Recommended: 51 Cozy Slow Cooker Soups
- 8 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 packages (16 ounces each) dried green split peas, rinsed
- 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 pound)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cartons (26 ounces each) chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups lump crabmeat
- In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- Add onions, carrots and celery to bacon drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in split peas, ham hocks, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until split peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Discard bay leaves; remove ham hocks from soup. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into small cubes; discard bones.
- Puree soup using an immersion blender. Or, cool soup slightly and puree in batches in a blender; return to pan.
Stir cream, salt, pepper and cubed ham into soup; heat through. In a small bowl, toss crab with bacon; serve with soup.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup without toppings in freezer containers; freeze cooked bacon in a small resealable freezer bag. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat soup through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, adding a little stock or broth if necessary. Top servings as directed. Yield: 12 servings (4 quarts).
Originally published as Split Pea Soup with Bacon & Crab in Taste of Home September/October 2014, p51
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