Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup with Garlicky Croutons
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the ham, onions, carrots, celery, 1 tablespoon of the garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; cook, stirring often, until the mixture is lightly browned and the vegetables are slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.Advertisement
Stir the stock, split peas, potato, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the thyme into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until the peas are tender, about 8 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the bread cubes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon thyme. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
Remove 2 cups of the soup mixture from the slow cooker, and place in a blender. Remove the center piece of the blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure the lid on the blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Stir the pureed mixture into the soup in the slow cooker. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top evenly with the croutons.
Multicooker Directions: In Step 1, transfer the cooked ham and vegetables to the inner pot of a 6-quart multicooker. In Step 2, stir in the stock, split peas, potato, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the thyme. Lock the lid; turn Pressure Valve to "Venting." Cook on SLOW COOK [Normal] until the peas are tender, about 8 hours. Turn off the cooker. Meanwhile, complete Step 3. In Step 4, purée 2 cups of the soup as in Step 4. Stir the puréed mixture into the soup in the pot. Finish Step 4.