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Winter Warm-up: Smokey Split Pea Soup

Photo: Francine Mastini

It’s Winter. It’s cold. Heck, even Jason was snowed on in South Carolina. That means it’s time to roll out the soups. I’m often astounded at how little I know about soup making. I have, perhaps, four stand-by soups. Chicken (naturally), Lentil, Navy Bean, and Split Pea. For a person that cooks ALL the time , with joy and love. I have no idea how I missed the soup  end of the cooking spectrum.

Even when I was flat broke, I didn’t expand the soup repertoire. I pity my family. This is my year to remedy that gap in my cooking and expand on my souper-powers. Yeah, ok, leaway please.

Not only are soups delicious, but they’re frugal. Seriously frugal.

Dinner + plus leftovers for lunch cost = 2 bucks bringing each meal to approx .50 / person for my split pea soup. With everyone buzzing about Ten Dollar Dinners this one fits the bill with leftover change for a dessert.

Split Peas have the added advantage of not having to soak like other legumes. Peas are a nutritional power punch for your immune system. If you combine them with a grain such as teff or barley, you have a complete meal that’s cheap and tasty. I like to serve my split pea soup with a hunk of home-made whole grain bread. Another alternative is to throw in some thawed out frozen peas at the end of the cooking to warm them through. Fresh pretty green peas, plump and gorgeous, look pretty and add even more nutritional partnership with the ham. It’s gorgeous food. At Pistachio House, we aim for gorgeous food that knocks you off your feet.

For the pictured dish, I had some leftover veggie soup and used that as the base for my soup rather than just plain broth. It had some carrots and onions in it. You can leave out the ham and use water or vegetable broth if you are vegfolk. In either case, it tastes yum.

The recipe usually calls for 12 hours of cooking on low but I didn’t get up at 7am to do this so we went on high at 4 and ate at 8 and it was delish.

Smokey Split Pea Soup
Yield: Four servings

1 cup split pea (yellow or green)
5 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 smoked ham hock (sliced)

Throw them in a crockpot and set it on low. Go to work. This should take about 8-12 hours of cooking time

That’s it… honestly.

Edit from Jason:  I used yellow, with a smoked turkey neckbone and in on high at 4 and we ate at 8…every bit as good!  You can also use ham base, which is just as flavorful.

Tweets - Francine

Tweets - Jason

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