I don’t think that I have ever eaten split pea soup in my life. It is just something that has never appealed to me. I’m not sure why, maybe it was the consistency which I imagined would be like eating a bowl of school paste. Green school paste. My husband has always professed his love for pea soup, hoping that I would one day decide to share the love and make it. But thick green soup? Ugh, no thanks.
I also assumed that my children would not like to eat pea soup. Because thick green soup? Ugh, no thanks. Yes, I project.
Fast forward to this year when we bought a pig. Not a live pig, mind you, but one wrapped in little freezer packages from a local grower. Suddenly I had a whole lot of Babe the Freezer Pig to make into meals.
So I thought, oh what the heck, I’ll make some of that split pea soup with ham. Surely it couldn’t be that bad. I could tell my kids that Shrek liked to eat swamp soup.
I know it sounds so appetizing now that you can hardly wait to make it yourself, right?
So I set out to find a split pea recipe. One that was easy. I am all about the easy recipe. If it has multiple steps or involves too many pots or pans or weird ingredients, well I am turned right off.
So after scouring the internet and my stockpile of cookbooks that I continue to buy and hold on to in case this internet thing turns out to be a fad and disappears, I realized that they all shared the same basic ingredients. And so I made up my own recipe.
1 med onion, chopped
2 16oz bags dried split peas
water like a half gallon or so
First you to rinse and sort through the peas in case some tiny pebbles have made their way into the bag. You don’t want to break a tooth on an errant piece of rock. Trust me on this. I broke a tooth on one of those tiny Nerds candies, which are just like colored rocks in a package.
Put them into your stock pot with a half gallon of water or so. I just filled the stock pot a little over halfway.
Turn it on and bring it to a boil and then turn it down to simmer. Every so often go over and skim the scum off of the surface. Sounds appetizing doesn’t it? You could also call it foam if that makes you feel better. Or scummy foam if you want to gross your children out.
Then stir it up good so the peas don’t stick to the bottom and burn. Let this cook by itself for 1.5 hours. And go prepare the other ingredients. Truth be told I tossed everything else in at the one hour mark because my patience had been exhausted.
Peel and slice your carrots.
I am beginning to think that every recipe I make has carrots in it. I had no idea I liked carrots so much until I began blogging recipes and realized that I photograph the same looking bunch of carrots every week. I can see in the dark though, which comes in really handy for avoiding stepping on toys in the middle of the night.
Scrub and peel your potatoes. And do the same with your onion.
You can run them all through the slicer on your food processor. If you have one. I just bought one this past weekend and have been using it every chance I get.
“Kids, want mommy to slice up that PB&J so you don’t have to chew so much? C’mon”
Crush a few cloves of garlic and add them into the carrot, onion, potato mix.
Unwrap a ham steak. Or if you have leftover ham you could surely use that. But a ham steak was the perfect amount of meat to soup ratio.
I cut the ham steak into five large pieces.
Lots of the recipes I read said that I needed to brown the ham steak or fry the onions and garlic with the ham steak before adding it to the pot. But I didn’t want to. First of all because I hate having to wash yet another pan. And second because I am lazy and really just wanted to get on with my day already.
Hello, Babe the Freezer Pig. You are looking mighty tasty.
So I tossed everything into the pot. And let it simmer on the lowest low possible for about 3 hours. Every once in awhile I gave it a stir or two.
After three hours had passed I took it off the stove . I fished out the pieces of ham steak and cut/shredded them. Then I poured half of the soup into my food processor and blended it all up.
I poured it all back into the pot. Stirred it up. And served it.
And can I just say that it was delicious. I really did not have high expectations for it. Nor did I think my children would devour the split pea soup the way that they did. Even the so-called picky children ate it with gusto, and not once was swamp scum mentioned.
Mmmmm. I have a new favorite, split pea soup.
That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.