Two white bowls filled with Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup + a letter to my daughter

Dear C, You turned eleven today. Eleven. Old enough to have your own phone, but young enough to play with your dolls. Old enough to know right from wrong, by young enough not to know what to do. Old enough for me to give you…

Two white bowls filled with Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup.
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup + a letter to my daughter

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup |

Dear C,

You turned eleven today. Eleven. Old enough to have your own phone, but young enough to play with your dolls. Old enough to know right from wrong, by young enough not to know what to do. Old enough for me to give you a longer leash, but young enough for me to worry. Old enough that teenage years are just around the corner, but young enough that I can keep you close a little longer.

It struck me this weekend that I am faced with an end. Pretty soon, you will no longer be my little girl, who still loves her dolls and imagination, who cuddles with her stuffed animal at night. One day, you won’t need me to tuck you in at night. You may not even tell me what is troubling your heart (but I hope you remember you always can).

It struck me this weekend that I want to preserve you in a box, to shield you from all hurt…to keep you innocent. It struck me this weekend that I must be there for you, more than ever.

Eleven is an age that haunts me. Your Tita was eleven when our mom — your lola — passed away. It makes me remember those years she had to grow up alone, and how I could never be a susbstitute for that comforting hug. I want to be with you as you grow older, to guide you for as long as I can. To help you become the strong woman you are meant to be.

For now, you are still my little girl. And everything I say or do matters. I can’t protect you, I can’t hold you back. But I hope you know that I am always here for you, if one day not on this earth, then in your heart.


I devoted last weekend to my daughter, and resolved myself to her. A renewal of vows, if you will. It was as if I had stopped at a long stop light, and I had a moment to consider my destination. Sometimes, you just get stuck on the cruise control, moving forward, but forgetting to pay attention along the way.

We had a beautiful ham this weekend, and I was eager to make this Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup soon after. I wasn’t sure how she would like it; up to now, my daughter has not favored peas, in any way, shape or form. You can imagine the look of shock when she realized the key ingredient.

“Is there potato in this soup? The texture?” she questioned. “Good guess, but it’s not potatoes. Look at the color, what do you think it is?” I prodded. When she still wasn’t sure, I revealed the answer.

“PEAS?!? I like peas??? I’m eating a…vegetable!?”

Yes, imagine that. You like another vegetable.

And you even brought it for lunch at school the following day.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Serves 8-10. | Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 3-8 hours (depending on slow cooker method)

What else can I say, but that Split Pea Soup is the perfect comfort food when the weather is cold, and all you want to do is stay cozy indoors. It requires hardly any effort at all, whether you use a slow cooker, or decide to cook it on the stove. Either way, I've included directions for both.


1 lb dried split peas, rinsed and sorted
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
3 springs thyme
1 hambone with a good amount of meat on bone
8 cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
freshly ground black pepper


In the insert of a slow cooker, place the peas, onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, ham bone and water. If you can, bring to a boil, and skim any foam off the top. Otherwise, go ahead an place the insert in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Retrieve the ham and remove the meat, chopping up the large chunks into smaller bite sized pieces. Discard the bone and set aside the ham.

Remove the bay leaf and any sprigs of thyme and discard.

Puree the soup by blending it in several batches, or by using an immersion blender. Return both the soup and the ham to the slow cooker. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, with a some good, warm bread.

The first time I fell in love with Split Pea Soup, I was in grad school, and my friend Liz served this one cold night. This is based on her comforting recipe.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Such a sweet tribute to your daughter, she is blessed to have you as her mom :). As for this soup, it would be perfect for my Sunday night dinner!

  2. quip it good

    I’ve been thinking about that benchmark too. I wish I could thank Mom for giving me a such a loving big sister. You always were (and still are) my guide and best friend. Endless hugs to you and to my awesome niece!

  3. Mary@SiftingFocus

    Liren, we had the soup for dinner tonight and it was just delicious. It has the perfect balance of flavors and just the right amount of thickness. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Shelly

    Your daughter is so lucky to have you as a mother! This letter is beautiful and I hope she can look back on it one day when she’s grown up and be reminded of that.

  5. Mary@SiftingFocus

    Liren, such a beautiful and touching letter. Tears came to my eyes as your words resonated deep in my heart. My sweet girl is 23, and when she is home from college I still kiss her good-night and peer through the opening of her bedroom door to watch her sleep. She awaits and loves the good morning kiss I place on her cheek. Yes, there are ups and downs as our girls transition through different stages, but some things never change. As your daughter navigates through the coming teen years and onto adulthood, she will need you just as much as she always has, even more so. The mother you have been to her assures a connection that time and age can not alter.

    As for the soup, I have everything I need to get this going in my slow cooker. I LOVE split pea soup but have always cooked it on the stove. The slow cooker makes such easy work of it. Dinner tomorrow night!

  6. Rebecca

    Wow, what a beautiful and strong letter. Your daughter is really blessed.
    All the best to both of you, Rebecca

  7. Liz Barbo

    Thanks for the comment. I’m currently battling the flu and wish I had a bowl!

Kitchen Confidante®

Kitchen Confidante uses cookies to serve you the best possible experience. By using our website, we understand that you accept their use and agree to our cookie policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.