In my house, the crock pot is a well loved appliance. I use it a couple of times a month even during the summer. I love being able to put things in the crock pot in the morning and know that dinner is done. Also being able to do the big dishes in the morning frees up so much time in the evening when all I have to do is pop our dinner dishes in the dishwasher.
Yesterday in our CSA, we received 4 whopping parsnips. Frankly, they were taking up space in my refrigerator and I really wanted to get them out of the way. Hence, tonight's dinner was born. I could take the kiddos outside after school and play until 5 minutes before dinner. A quick zap with the immersion blender and dinner was ready.
Chickpea, Parsnip, and Ham Soup by Joie de Vivre
1 lb. dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 parsnips, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 ham steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
A little bit of Liquid Smoke, to taste
Place all vegetables, ham and stock into the insert of your crock pot. Cook on HIGH for 7 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Use your hand-held immersion blender to puree about 3/4 of the soup (the more pureed the better in my house with two picky eaters). Spoon into bowls and season with a little Liquid Smoke.