F&W's Marcia Kiesel credits split pea soup, one of her favorites, as the inspiration for this hearty stew. Like split peas, chickpeas need to simmer for a long time, making them great for a slow cooker.
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8 cups hot water
4 smoked ham hocks (2 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
3 large carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch dice
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
Three medium (6-ounce) red-skinned potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a slow cooker, combine the water, ham hocks, chickpeas, carrots, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, Add the potatoes, cover and cook on low for 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the chickpeas, ham hocks and potatoes are tender.
Transfer the ham hocks to a large plate. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. When the hocks are cool enough to handle, remove the meat and coarsely chop it. Return the ham to the soup. Using a paring knife, cut the carrots in the cooker into bite-size pieces. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and mash to a puree. Stir the mashed potatoes into the soup along with the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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