Split Pea SoupWoman in the Middle | February 13, 2013
I have had to eliminate MSG from my diet. There are lots of people who are sensitive to this additive and you can now add me to that list. This has forced me to cook more from scratch because MSG is everywhere in prepared foods. It is in most packaged gravy mixes (and I love gravy). It is in most canned soups (and I love a little soup for lunch). It is in so many things I can’t list them all here. So, at the advanced age of 51 I am having to cook. Sigh.
Last week I made split pea soup from scratch. Hubby declared it was “excellent” which made me very proud! I have to admit it was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. I think it was even worth the half hour I spent chopping veggies for it. The recipe I started off with was courtesy of Martha Stewart. However, I made a few changes that I think mad e it better such as adding more chicken broth and less water and adding a little garlic powder. I made some corn bread to go with it. Yum!
Here is Martha’s split pea soup, with a little help from Kim.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chopped medium onion
4 carrots, thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
Sprinkle of garlic powder (maybe 1/2 a teaspoon)
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups of water
1 bag (16 ounces) split peas, picked over (Really, this is very important. It is very common for there to be little stones mixed in with the dried peas, beans, etc…)
Ham bone, slice of ham, or I used 1 package uncured English style bacon from Fresh and Easy Market.
Salt and pepper to taste (Don’t add salt before tasting. The broth and ham add lots of salt)
In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat olive oil and add chopped onion, celery, carrots, thyme and garlic. Cook until veggies begin to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add broth, water, split peas, and ham or bacon. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and partly cover pot with lid. Simmer until peas are soft, about 30 – 45 minutes. When the soup first begins to boil you may want to skim the foam off that rises to the top.
Many recipes, including Martha’s, have you puree half of the soup to give it that creamy consistency. Yeah, I don’t think so. I just let the soup cook a little longer and the peas break down and fall apart and that is good enough for me. But feel free to puree away if you would like, Martha says to work in batches and only fill the blender half full each time and to make sure the lid is on the blender. You don’t want hot soup going everywhere!