Starting with Split Pea Soup.

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I was making my first batch of split pea soup for the year.  Split pea soup is Edie’s hands down favorite soup, one she requests frequently and since she’s been under the weather with some sort of bug, she got her request.

I was first introduced to split pea soup by my friend Beppy in college – back in the days when I lived in a party house with two male roommates and I myself did zero cooking and even less cleaning, I remember coming home one afternoon to find Bep elbow deep in a sinkful of dirty dishes, cleaning away, with a pot of split peas simmering on the stovetop.  Since then, I cannot eat them without thinking fondly of her. That kitchen had the best light, even if it was otherwise a crappy kitchen with no counter space and an electric stove that my cat liked to turn on by pressing the power buttons across the top, starting at least one small fire.  Those were the days….

The thread that followed my post was a mass sharing of recipes, not just for split pea soup, but for Chicken Corn Soup and White Bean & Kale soup as well.  It inspired me to put them down all down somewhere together.

First up, what started the whole thing, split pea soup.

Becky’s Split Pea Soup
Take a bag of split peas, rinse and cover with water in a pot. Simmer for about 45 minutes.
Saute sliced onion, celery, carrots, garlic in bacon fat (or butter or oil). Add to the split peas, as well as broth, salt,pepper, thyme and barley. Cook for about another half hour or so.

Ashley suggested simmering it with a ham hock. 
Mary Ann puts sliced potatoes, ham, carrots, onion, coarse ground pepper, garlic, sea salt and celery salt in her version.
Cynthia adds curry powder.
Carla adds smoked turkey legs and a jalapeño pepper in addition to usual onions, celery carrots, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cynthia also adds dill, sour cream or yogurt to make it creamier.                 

Vikki’s White Bean & Kale Soup Stem & chop one bunch of kale; bring a quart of salted water to boil and simmer the kale for 15 minutes or so, til it’s soft. Drain the kale, put it aside, & save the liquid; should be about two cups left. Warm 1/4 cup olive oil in your pot; mince 4-5 cloves of garlic, sauté them in the oil for a minute or two, then add a large pinch of crushed sage and give it a couple stirs. Throw the kale back in, mix it up with the oil & garlic, then add the kale water plus enough extra water to make about 3 cups of liquid, plus two cans of white beans (drained & rinsed). I like to add some chicken bouillon or scrapings from the freezer, but you don’t have to; another good option is a rind of Parmesan. let it all simmer for 5 or 10 minutes, then puree it smooth with an immersion blender, salt as needed, and thin with a little extra water if you wish. sprinkle it with Parmesan before serving. Bread is a must.      

Becky’s note:  I make a similar soup, but I don’t always puree mine.  I add sweet & spicy Italian sausage that I cook in a separate pan until it’s fairly well cooked, slice it and add it after I puree (If I puree).   

Holly’s Chicken Corn Soup
Put 5 boneless chicken breasts, a cup of water, salt and pepper and a chicken bouillion in a crock pot to cook over night.
The next morning, shred the chicken, add it back to the chicken broth and add: large can chicken broth, bag a frozen sweet corn, 2 cans of creamed corn, 4 chopped hard boiled eggs (do NOT use hard boiled eggs already made from the store-I made that ‘stinky’ mistake before), also add: 1 small chopped onion, 5-6 (cubed) white potatoes, finely chopped stalk of celery and a few tablespoons of celery salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and pepper. I have it all in the crock pot and will cook on low all day. it is really good and simple to make. Serve with bread. Occasionally have added 1/4 cup or so of whole milk if you want it a tad creamier.

Last but not least, is this recipe for split pea soup that Bonnye sent me this morning.

Bonnye’s Split Pea Soup

1lb dried split peas
2 quarts chicken broth, water or mix
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1pkg Canadian bacon,diced dash cayenne
1 ½ cups onion,
diced ¼ tsp thyme
dash cayenne
¼ tsp marjoram 1 tsp salt ½ tsp pepper 1 cup celery, diced 1 cup carrots, diced

Place peas, chicken broth, Canadian bacon, onions and all seasonings into a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add celery and carrots. Cook for another hour. Will thicken in storage so add water if you wish when you reheat.

So there you have it, at least 7 different ways of making Split Pea Soup, two ways of making White Bean & Kale Soup and Chicken Corn Soup, a Pennsylvania Dutch classic I grew up eating at the school cafeteria – back when they still cooked school lunches.  All thanks to Facebook.  Happy Soup Season everyone!

4 thoughts on “Starting with Split Pea Soup.

  1. Lesa says:

    I am absolutely sure I'll find a soup to love in this group. I'm noted (in family circles only) for my cream soups, even my British step-dad liked them. Can't wait to try your list, starting right after I go to the grocery store. It's still hot here, but I can dream of autumn!

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