Monday, January 23, 2012

You don't think you'll like it but you will.

I started making soup yesterday.  Sundays are soup days at my house, oh yeahh....I chopped one onion and 1/2 c. carrots - both super-fine, using the new knife I got for Christmas.  Sauteed them in 2 T. olive oil; it was smelling so good.  I added 1/2 cup bottled light Italian dressing...3 cups of chicken broth (I get boxes, they store easily in the fridge for use any time)...and 2 cups water.  Then, I added 3 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon rosemary.  Then, the leftover 6 slices of bacon, cooked a couple of days ago when we had pancakes - "that's a great idea," I told T when he thought of it.  It was peppered bacon from Wenneman's in St. Libory.  Heavily peppered - perfect, for this soup.  Ham would have been another excellent choice.  I let it cook.  The smell was heavenly.

"Where is the bag of split peas???" I said, removing the entire contents of the pantry, seeking the bag that I KNEW was in there.  It wasn't.

How are we going to have split pea soup if we don't have the peas?  I thought of some alternatives, but we wanted split pea soup.  We don't like regular peas cooked regular ways...but split pea soup is something different altogether.

So - I halted the process, made some chicken salad (more on that later this week), put the lid on the soup pot and put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight.

Everybody knows it's better the second day, right?

So - I stopped by the store on the way home from work today.  Bought the peas.  (You'll find them with the dry beans, the rice, etc. - not by the vegetables.  Oh, you knew that?  I didn't.)

When I got home, I emptied the whole bagful into a colander to rinse them, and looked carefully through them because the bag says you should do so.  I think there might be little un-pea things in there.  I don't know, as I've never really found anything odd, but...the bag says...

I added the peas to the smellicious broth that by now was back to boiling on the stove.  What a great idea, I thought, to intentionally let those savory flavors blend overnight in the fridge...!

The soup cooked for another couple of hours.  I added a little more broth along the way - the peas cook down to softness, and it becomes mushy and good.  Just the way pea soup should be. 

Split pea soup - don't be afraid of it...pile some crackers into it...I found it even goes well with a glass of wine.   Or two - there's plenty of time til the peas get to "mushy" stage. Somewhere along the line, remove the bay leaves.  They don't make a good impression if they land in someone's bowl.

This recipe can also be made in the crockpot.  Saute the onion and carrots in the olive oil, then put them along with all the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot...set it on low, and go away for 8-10 hours.

This soup is so good for you.  Try it - I think you'll like it.

Have you ever eaten saltine crackers smeared with margarine or butter?  My grandmother used to make them for me.

Salty, buttery, crispy.  And simple.  It's a perfect compliment to split pea soup. 


  1. Sounds delicious! And bacon would not last for a couple days in my house unless I hid it (and probably not then because I would know where it was!)
    We used to put butter/margarine on saltines and dip them in the soup so the butter gets warm and runny and then pop them in our mouths. YUMMY! Thanks for reminding me of that.

    1. Thanks, Mary. I know what you mean about bacon! I hid it...

  2. My list of things to do today: Find a sleeve of saltine crackers and thaw out a stick of butter... Can't wait to try this one!

  3. Your kidlets will like it, too - maybe someday they'll remember when Miss Sheri used to make it for them.