Showing posts with label split pea soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label split pea soup. Show all posts

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Heart & Soul Warming Crockpot Split Pea Soup

From Peg Cochran

Growing up, there was no way I would touch pea soup.  Yuck!  It's green.  My first exposure came from the canned variety, and I have to tell you that homemade is a world apart!  This soup can be put together in the morning, simmer in your slow cooker all day, and when you get home you have a delicious dinner waiting for you.  Top with a grating of parmesan cheese, a handful of croutons and serve with some crusty bread and butter.


1 onion, chopped
3 carrots peeled and chopped 
1 15-ounce can of chicken broth
3 cups water
2 or 3 turkey sausages, squeezed out of the casing and broken into small bits
1 16-ounce bag of split peas, picked over and rinsed

Chop carrots in food processor until desired size (or you can slice them thinly--my husband prefers his vegetables disguised!)  Add along with the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker.  Cook on low until peas are tender--approximately eight hours.  Soup will be thick--add more water if desired.

Carrots chopped in food processor

Carrots can be chopped or sliced

Carrots and chopped onion ready for the slow cooker

1 lb. rinsed split peas

Carrots, onions, split peas and sausage in slow cooker

A delicious warm dinner on a cold night!

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Coming February 4!

For Valentine’s Day, Emma Taylor and her aunt Arabella have organized a special evening for men only to shop for their sweethearts in the Sweet Nothings lingerie shop, complete with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. But when a former valentine shows up, Aunt Arabella is not her usual bubbly self.

Art dealer Hugh Granger is still a charmer, though. He invites the women to a ball he’s having to celebrate his birthday and his return to Paris, Tennessee. But when Granger is pushed from the balcony, it paints a sinister picture for Aunt Arabella, who gets framed…for her old flame’s murder.

Out now!

For middle-aged “Jersey girl” Lucille Mazzarella, only two things in life really count—her family and her friends. When her brother-in-law’s body falls out of a church confessional, everything she holds dear is threatened, especially when the police arrest her husband for the murder. 

Plagued by hot flashes, a thickening waistline, a mother addicted to the home shopping channel, and a sexy old flame who’s come back to town, Lucille really has her hands full. And while she may not know much about solving crimes, this traditional churchgoer with very modern attitudes knows that with some prayers, some fast thinking, and some even faster talk she might just be able to nail the killer and restore order to her life. 

Stop by my Facebook page and click on contest for further details!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Split pea soup and cornbread by Lucy Burdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm sure no one's going to feel too sorry for me, but sometimes the research for the food critic mysteries is hard work. And Hayley Snow tells me that those rich meals and decadent desserts can wreak havoc on your digestion and your shape. Here for example is the yellowtail snapper and shrimp dish from Pisces in Key West--you can't tell from the photo, but they are both swimming in butter.

And here's another rich shrimp dish from El Siboney, a well-know Cuban restaurant. And then blueberry bread pudding from the tapas restaurant, Santiago's Bodega, which is absolutely to die for.

So after a run of these kind of nights, I'm dying for something plain and hearty. One of my go-to meals (and something that Hayley Snow would make too) is split pea soup with cornbread and a big salad. Plain but utterly satisfying and delicious!


1 bag dried split peas, washed and sorted
3-4 carrots, chopped by hand or in food processor
1 large onion, chopped as above
3 stalks celery, minced
cilantro, washed and chopped
1 32 oz box organic chicken broth

Saute the vegetables in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, until soft. Add the peas and the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the peas are soft and starting to lose their shape, adding water or more broth as needed. Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving, and add a spritz of sesame oil to each bowl.

BUTTERMILK CRACKLING CORN BREAD (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

(The J of C calls for fatty salt pork, I substitute butter.)

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425. Put the butter in a square baking pan and place in the oven until the butter melts. Tilt the bottom so melted butter covers all.

Whisk dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs, add the buttermilk and whisk, then add wet ingredients to dry. Mix and pour in pan containing the hot butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Err on the side of undercooking, so the edges of the bread look crispy and buttery but the center isn't dry.

Oh boy, making my own mouth water looking at these!

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, including AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. You can follow her on facebook or twitter. She eats and writes in Connecticut and Key West.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Split Pea Soup

by Sheila Connolly

Pease Porridge hot,
Pease Porridge cold,
Pease Porridge in the Pot
Nine Days old,
Spell me that in four Letters?
I will, THAT.

This is the earliest recorded version of Pease Porridge Hot, found in John Newbery's Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1760).

Here at MLK we seem to have a tradition of offering split pea soup recipes in January, and who am I to scoff at tradition?  Besides, there's a practical reason: we had a ham for New Year's.  There are three people in our family.  The ham weighed maybe six pounds.  Do the math:  no way three people could consume six pounds of ham, even after a few recycled meals.

But!  There is a ham bone, and to me that means split pea soup.  After all the wonderful (butter and sugar rich) cookie recipes we've been wallowing in lately, it's almost a relief to return to something simple and earthy—and maybe even healthy for us. All the recipes are good, but this is definitely the simplest one, and now that the holidays are over, I'm definitely in the mood for simple!

This kind of pea soup (aka pease porridge or pease pottage) seems to have a life cycle of its own.  At heart it is very plain:  dried peas, a pork product (salt pork, bacon, sausage or leftover ham) if you're not a vegetarian, salt and pepper, and water.  What I did notice is that if you google contemporary soup recipes, they started out with the basics (back in the 1990s) and then the industrious and/or bored cooks starting adding things—mostly spices, but also an occasional other vegetable.  Much as I love spices, now and then it's nice to go back to fundamentals.

I have an 1846 cookbook, called Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book (which, the author tells us, was a supplement to her Treatise on Domestic Economy).  It is replete with recipes that we'll probably never need (I don't plan to cleanse a calf's head and feet any time soon, and I'm still trying to figure out what Ivory Dust is—not soap, I'm fairly sure, because it went into a sauce).  There are also plenty of good plain recipes, including two for split pea soup.  Guess what:  Miss Beecher's recipe is pretty darn close to the modern ones.

Here's the basic modern recipe for Split Pea Soup:

1 lb split peas (yellow or green)
2 qts (8 cups) water
½ lb meat:  salt pork, ham bone or leftover ham
5 onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Herbs of your choice

Rinse the peas (aren't you glad you don't have to soak them overnight any more?) and put them in a 6-8 qt havy pot with water, the ham bone, and half of the chopped onions.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the peas are tender but not falling apart, 1 to 1 ½ hours. (Not that there is no salt in this yet—cooking the dry beans with salt makes them tough.)

Cook the remaining onions in butter over moderate heat until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add to soup along with salt, pepper, and herbs and continue simmering, partially covered, until the peas are falling apart and the soup thickens, another 1 to 1 ½ hours.  Remove any remaining meat from the hambone and add it to the pot.

This can be varied in countless ways. You can replace some of the second batch of onions with leeks.  You can use stock instead of water (and you may need to add water after it's done cooking because it tends to thicken). I've been known to add shredded carrot for the second simmering because it adds a nice touch of color.  You can add smoked meats or bacon.

And I'll bet you that it won't last nine days!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vegetarian Split Pea soup

Sometime back I posted my go-to recipe for split pea soup and lamented the fact that it wasn't vegetarian because I start with a chicken broth base and add ham. Now, we love this soup, but our youngest is vegetarian and she misses it.

Several Mystery Lovers' Kitchen readers contacted me and pointed to a recipe online for a vegan split pea soup at The Perfect Pantry. You can find that recipe here.

Game for finding a vegetarian option, I tried it. Verdict: not bad, but not great. There was a flavor in there I didn't like. Same for our daughter. We think the thyme was misplaced, so in my version, I skip that entirely and make up for it with bay leaves and garlic powder. My husband loved it, but I thought it needed a tweak. Here's my version:

Vegetarian Split Pea soup

1 lb green split peas
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 - 3 Tbsp Hickory flavored barbecue sauce
Handful of baby carrots, added about 1-1/2 hour before serving
6 cups water

The Perfect Pantry recipe tells you to put all this in a large slow cooker set on high, then after 4 hours, transfer to a food processor to smooth it out.

Here's a photo of my attempt to do this.

It took forever for the peas to break down, and then the soup got way too thick.

Not cool.

Me, I much prefer to simmer this on my stove. This way the peas break down completely, and there's no messy transfer-to-a-food-processor-and-back to deal with. You'll need to keep an eye on this so that it doesn't get too thick too quickly. I found myself adding a bit more water, until the peas broke down completely.

What I found odd about the Perfect Pantry site, was their note "if you're adding smoked turkey or cooked sausage..." Umm... isn't their version supposed to be vegan? Made me a bit suspicious and so I double-checked my barbecue sauce to make sure it didn't include any meat by-products. Safe.

If you love pea soup, and you're not vegetarian, I suggest you check out either Krista's wonderful split pea soup for a rainy day Krista's split pea soup, or my favorite recipe Split pea soup.

This picture is actually of my original soup. For some reason, I can't find the photos we took of the vegetarian version. And now the entire pot is gone and I can't take a new one.

In any case, soup seems like the best answer to the cold, the snow, and the general yickiness outside these days.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rainy Day Split Pea Soup

After all my complaining about hot and humid weather, Mother Nature flipped a switch and shot us straight into temperatures cold enough to turn on the furnace and want to snuggle by the fireplace.

Is it just me or does anyone else hear evil cackling?

Consequently, I went for a bracing soup this week. Based on a recipe in The Best of Gourmet 1988, it's been a favorite of mine for a long time. I've monkeyed with it, of course, but it turns out delicious every time. The good news is that it's an easy recipe in that everything basically goes into a big pot and simmers for three hours. The bad news is that after ignoring the soup for three hours, it needs to be pureed, which is messy but worth doing because it results in a lovely velvety texture.

The original recipe called for 10 cups of water, but I prefer the denser consistency achieved by using less water. If you don't have kielbasa handy, the recipe also works with pork chops or ham. I think it's best if you have leftover pork bones to toss into it (be sure to take them out before pureeing!). It's a nice way to use the leftover bone from a ham. Kielbasa probably adds more flavor since it's already laden with spices, but I've made it many times with ham and it's always great. On one notable occasion, since I didn't have an onion, I substituted an entire bulb of garlic, chopped. It was still delicious.

One other big bonus is that this can be made ahead of time. It keeps nicely in the fridge for a couple of days. Serve by the fire with a loaf of crusty bread and a creamy cheese.

Rainy Day Split Pea Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion (or, should you be avoiding vampires, 1 entire garlic bulb)
1 pound dried split peas
2 cups carrot slices (about 5 average carrots)
3/4 cup sliced celery
1 kielbasa
1 ham bone (or several pieces of leftover bone from pork)
8 to 10 cups of water
1 large bay leaf
salt (to taste -- depends on how salty the kielbasa is)

Over medium low heat, melt the butter and saute the onions until soft. Add the peas, carrots, celery, kielbasa, pork bones, water and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and simmer for three hours. Hint: for a thicker soup use 8 cups water, 10 cups for a thinner soup.

Puree in a blender or food processor. Hint: no matter how large your food processor or blender, do this in batches and pour them into a large container so you can stir them all together when done. Serve hot.

If you want to dress it up, toss some croutons on top. No croutons? Use mini cookie cutters to cut pieces of soft bread and toast them at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Add to soup at last minute as a garnish.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Split Pea Soup and NEWS!

News first!!

Today is the official release day for Krista's newest book - THE DIVA PAINTS THE TOWN. I know I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. I love this series!

I know Krista will be talking about it a bit more on Saturday, but I didn't want the day to pass without acknowledgment!

Congrats Krista!

My family loves split pea soup. I started the girls on it very young before they were old enough to think that eating something green was yucky. It worked for broccoli, salads, and other good-for-you foods, and now my daughters are all happy veggie eaters and they all love split pea soup. My youngest, the vegetarian, has been after me to come up with a version that doesn't use a hambone as its base, but I haven't managed that yet. Soon, I hope. And if it's a success, I'll post it here. But I can't imagine a great pea soup without delicious ham undertones....

Anyway, my mom was the one who first suggested I make this. I had no idea how. She told me to buy Jack Rabbit brand peas, and just follow the recipe on the back of the bag because it was the best. There was no way I believed that a recipe from the back of a cellophane bag would be any good, but it was fabulous. I've modified it a bit since then, but the Jack Rabbit recipe is still pretty excellent. If you need peas, pick up a bag of that brand and follow it to the letter. You won't be disappointed.

Here, however, is my modified version. I've added a bit more water, simmered a bit less time, eliminated an ingredient or two and traded garlic powder for fresh minced garlic.

Personally, I think this is the best pea soup on the planet. Perfect for this weather, perfect to serve at SuperBowl parties ("Soup"-erbowl ... get it?), and just great for bringing back that great feeling of home and warmth and comfort.

Split Pea Soup

16 oz bag of peas
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 quarts water
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed, minced
1 ham shank (or butt, if that's what you have)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
Carrots (I like the baby carrots that come cleaned and pre-peeled)

Wash peas and pick out any bad ones.
Combine peas, water, ham shank, onions, bouillon, oregano, pepper, bay leaf, and garlic in a deep soup pot. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for about an hour or so. Remove shank and trim any meat off (this is a great time to snack!). Cut this meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pot. Add carrots. Simmer again, uncovered, for about another hour and a half. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

I used to simmer it for 2 and a half hours the second time, but then the soup gets really, really thick. I like thick, but, this was a bit too much. Keep an eye on the pot after an hour and judge appropriate simmer time for yourself.


Enjoy! This is a great soup to sip while reading mysteries. Trust me!


* * *
I'll bet you thought I forgot about the truth and lies.... and I almost did! Here's a reminder of what my "claims" were:

1 - FALSE - although I did buy a goldfish for my fraternity initiation, I did not have to swallow it! Whew!!
2 - TRUE - I have Synesthesia. My youngest shares this "affliction," but I wouldn't trade it away even if I could. Life is so colorful this way ;-)
3 - FALSE - Never met Christian Bale. Never tried to be an extra in Batman. But a lot of folks around here did try to get in and we know a few who succeeded.

Hope you're enjoying our "tall tales"!