The cupboards were quite literally bare today since my Amazon Fresh order didn't show up this morning at 7am (I know - horrors! It did end up arriving while I was working but was not my order - someone will be wondering where their beef jerky and tofu went) and I was far too busy to head to the store to grab something for dinner. I rummaged around the kitchen and scrounged up some lovely organic split peas. My must-have pantry items always include dried beans, peas, and lentils. A real lifesaver if you need to scrounge up something for dinner, which unfortunately I do somewhat regularly.
Ever since Linda Blair erupted with a stream of pea soup in The Exorcist I couldn't eat it. Something a tad off-putting in color and thrown up by the devil himself couldn't possibly taste great, right? How silly I was...
Split pea soup is now what I turn to when the weather turns chilly and the kids are wanting something hearty and warm. Easy to prepare while I'm trying to help with math homework (have you tried to figure out 4th grade math recently?) and clean the cat's hairball up off the kitchen floor.
Ham stock is an ideal addition to this soup, but if you haven't got any, a ham hock is the perfect way to impart that rich smoky flavor a split pea soup screams for.
My favorite way to serve this soup is by adding a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and serving with a crusty baguette slathered with salted butter and a glass of red wine. What better way to warm up.
EASY SPLIT PEA SOUP
- 3 slices slab bacon, diced fine
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced fine
- 3 large stalks celery, diced fine
- 3 medium carrots, diced fine
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups dried green split peas
- 2 tbs fresh thyme, chopped fine
- 4 cups ham stock (substitute chicken or beef stock if necessary)
- 1 cup water
- 1 ham hock (optional)
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat add bacon and cook until partially browned. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add split peas, thyme, stock, water and ham hock. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 hour, making sure to stir soup every 10 minutes. Peas should be soft and soup thick. Season with salt and pepper.