Friday, February 06, 2009

Split Pea Soup

When I married my husband, I knew he did not eat soup, he did not eat vegetables, and he would never never never eat peas.

Well, over the years he learned to eat and enjoy vegetables. Out of love for me, he learned to tolerate soup-in-general and even like some soups. And he even began to eat peas. After about twenty years of feeding him, one day I about fell off my chair when he said the peas were so good that he wanted a second helping. (Hey, I gotta admit, that was one good sauce I put on the peas that day!)

But never had I made split pea soup. I don't recall my mother ever making it for us. I figured combining soup and peas into one dish would be pushing Gary beyond his limits. No matter how hard he tried to be pleased with my cooking, I was afraid split pea soup would be hopeless to attempt.

And then Erin had us over one night for a soup party. Everything she made was totally awesomely delicious! And one of the soups was split pea. The people in my family, in an effort to be polite, tasted it. And they liked it!!!!! So now I've made split pea soup twice. Yummy!

The only problem slowing us down is that I never seem to have enough ham bones to flavor all the legume dishes I desire to cook. Maybe next time we take a piggy to the butcher, I should ask him to give me no hams, but just ham-steaks, so that I can have small chunks of bone to put in beans and lentils and soups.


  1. Hey--I did that last fall! It is so nice to have ham steaks for soups, for breakfast, for just plain ham when I don't want to pull out the big honker. I'll do it again. We did one ham regular, and had it cut in half, then the other was made into steaks.

  2. (Off topic, tangent warning! Beep! Beep!)

    My brother worked at a restaurant at one point that ran their veal bones thru their high-temp roaster then threw them in a pot with water for 12 hours.

    I never did get to taste it (the restaurant was way out of my price range) but every time I think of what that stock must be like, my mouth waters. A little pearl barley, some onions... mmmmm....

  3. As someone who love split pea soup and never manages to remember to buy any a ham hock or some such thing in advance of the craving, I have two words for you... Liquid smoke.

    A friend of ours in Seattle showed me the ways of frugal soup making and the importance of liquid smoke in this recipe.
    All you need is split peas, an onion, carrots, stock/broth/boulionn, liquid smoke and S&P.

    She also taught me to cook it just long enough for the peas to start falling apart, but not so long that it becomes "textureless green mush" You want it to still be a bit "toothy"... whatever that means?!

    Of course, if I had my druthers (channeling my mom with that term!) I'd use chopped bacon instead of ham.

  4. Oooooh, Beth, great idea! Y'know, I don't think I've seen the bottle of liquid smoke since we moved. Maybe I ought to hunt and see where it landed in the new house. (Boy, we've been here for over 11 months, and it's still the "new house." Obviously I don't do change very well. [grin]) If I can't find the liquid smoke, buying some would be easier than always needing the ham bone.

    Oh, wait, quick question. The marrow in the bone is a good thickener for the soup. If you use liquid smoke instead of a ham bone or a ham hock, is the soup really runny?