The weather here in the Seattle area has been so, so strange. Just over a week ago, a dense fog descended upon us, and didn’t lift until yesterday. Apparently, it’s called a “fog storm.” Really, it just made me feel like I was living inside a horror movie for seven days. Without the blood, gore, stupid dialogue, and tense jumpy moments, thank goodness.
Naturally, living in pea soup made me want to make pea soup. I think out of the box like that.
This vegetarian Crock Pot soup recipe is delicious of its own accord, but with the cumin and the garnish of smoked paprika, it’s still plenty reminiscent of the ham-hock-steeped split pea soup of my youth. Meat-eaters get a little ham bonus because we love ’em.
I really like the somewhat unusual addition of cauliflower. It doesn’t affect the overall taste of the soup, it just makes for some nice hearty bites here and there. I might add diced red potatoes next time – I went back and forth on that and ultimately decided against it. I was also tempted to add a smidgen of curry powder, which I’m certain would be a nice addition, but I left it out as I wanted to keep this version comforting and familiar.
Bonus: this soup is soooo unbelievably easy to make. The ever-awesome Crock Pot strikes again!
Crock Pot Vegetarian Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup with Optional Ham Add-In
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced (about 2 cups))
- 1 stalk celery (diced (about 1/2 cup))
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 cups cauliflower florets (chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 2 cups dried split peas
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Additional salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- Olive oil and smoked paprika for garnish
- Ham add-in
- 1/4 cup diced ham per serving
- In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add to 4.5-quart or larger Crock Pot along with cauliflower, split peas, vegetable broth, cumin, sage, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf.
- Cook on low for 8 hours, or until split peas are completely soft.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- If adding ham, remove about 1 1/2 cups per serving to a saucepan and stir in 1/4 cup diced ham. Heat together for about 10 minutes.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Top carnivorous servings with additional chopped ham if desired.