Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Split Pea Soup

It's that time of the year where the ground is covered in snow, and I can see the trees shivering from the cold. And the only weapon I have in my arsenal against the bitter cold of Chicago is to make soup. Lots and lots of soup.

So often we think of soup in the big, grandiose, boil a chicken carcass all day to make broth way. But soup can be easy, hearty, and healthy, and a great way to make a meal on a weekday night.

My split pea soup is a great weekday night recipe because the prep is minimal and you let it cook on its own, unsupervised. Also, it doesn't begin with a whole ham hock!

Weekday Split Pea Soup

1 bag (1 pound) dried split peas
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
3-4 cups water (depending on if you prefer thick or medium soup)
Fresh ground pepper
Optional: ham

Put everything in a pot. Bring to a boil. Put top on, reduce to simmer. Cook for 1-2 hours until the peas have become pleasantly mushy. That's it!

I rarely have cubed ham just lying around, but to make this a meal, it needs a little more than just the soup. So since I usually have ham lunchmeat handy, I warm some up in a pan and place a little on top of the soup. If you cook the lunchmeat in the soup, it won't hold up to the 2 hours of cooking, so it's necessary to wait to add it. Then toast up some bread to dip in, and you've got a tasty, hot and hearty meal to get you through the week!

edit Split Pea Soup (6)


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