27 February 2012

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup- Blog
Historically, I prejudged Split Pea Soup.  I mean, come on, who wants to eat a bowl of muddy, smashed green peas.  It certainly doesn’t look good.  And then we went to Colorado, specifically to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.  We’d just finished a few days of camping in the rain, sleet, and snow and all I wanted was a delicious homemade meal.  The Princeton Club offered Split Pea Soup as the soup of the day. After one bite, I was hooked, I couldn’t get enough of this green mush. 
Once I got home, I forgot about the soup.  The food memory was overshadowed by all of the delicious meals I had during the rest of our trip.  And then I stumbled across Whole Food’s recipe for Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup.  A homemade soup with under 10 ingredients, including spices?!  Count me in.  Of course, I chose to adapt the recipe to our tastes and what I could buy organically, which got it down to 7 ingredients.  Oh, and I chose to use the electric pressure cooker, which meant the soup could be prepared, start to finish, in about 45 minutes. 
Forrest asked me the other day why I was making so much Split Pea Soup.  I told him, it’s simple, it’s cheap, and it’s delicious.  What more could you ask for?

Peas- Blog
Start with a pound of split peas.  I’ve used green and yellow.  The yellow is even less attractive.
Carrots- Blog
Next up, cut up 2 cups worth of carrots.  You can peel them if you want.  I’m lazy.
Meat- Blog
Add a meaty bone.  I use Polyface Pork Backbone.  No, it’s not pretty, but it’s good. 
Spices
Finally, you need some flavor and some liquid.  I generally use 6 cups of chicken stock.  The soup will be a little thin right when it finishes, but once it sits, it will be as thick as glue.  So, save the rest of the box of chicken stock to add it when you reheat the leftovers.  As for the spices, it’s up to you.  I vary between fresh and dried depending on what I have on hand.  I find that you can never go wrong with Italian seasonings, though.
Recipe: Split Pea Soup
Adapted from Whole Foods
Click for Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. split peas
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 1 meaty bone (frozen is ok)
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp dried spices
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
Directions
  1. Layer ingredients in electric pressure cooker.  Set to high pressure for 25 minutes. 
Or
  1. Layer ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.