Potatoes contribute starchiness and silky thickness, while sweet carrots and salty ham balance out the peas' light, earthy flavor. Leftovers fare well in the freezer, so say hello to your new favorite make-ahead soup. Garnish with parsley and additional pepper, if desired.
1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped peeled carrot
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds smoked ham hocks
6 cups water
1/2 cup light sour cream
How to Make It
Layer peas and next 9 ingredients (through ham) in order listed in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Gently pour 6 cups water over top. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
Remove ham hocks from slow cooker. Remove meat from bones, and cut into bite-sized pieces; discard skin and bones. Discard bay leaf.
Coarsely mash soup to desired consistency, adding additional hot water to thin, if desired. Stir in chopped ham. Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.