Maria is a master of public health, and a master gardener. She & husband Bo, known online as The Gardener & The Cook are in coastal Alabama.
So warm and delicious — this thick, hearty soup has bits of carrots, onions, diced ham, and, of course, dried split green peas. Split pea soup is true comfort food.
Make Plenty for Leftovers
You know the day will come when you are too tired to cook, right? I know we have days like that.
When making soups, stews, and chili, we almost always prepare enough for several meals, and some to freeze for a day when we don't want to cook. This soup, paired with a salad, makes a thoroughly satisfying, nourishing, and delicious meal on a cold day — or any day, for that matter.
How Much? "Just Put Some!"
This is one of those recipes where I don't measure anything. As my grandmother used to say, "You just put some." I usually base these decisions on the number of people I plan to feed, and on whether or not I want plenty of leftovers. For those who need more structure, I have estimated the amounts I use.
- 2 to 3 cups dried split pea
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded or chopped
- 1 small package diced ham
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- Bring the peas to a boil in a stockpot or soup pot; then pour off the water.
- In fresh water, bring the peas to a boil again; then reduce heat to medium and add seasonings.
- Shred the carrots in a food processor or blender, and set aside.
- Pre-cook the chopped onion in the microwave for 2 minutes, then set aside. (We keep chopped onion in our freezer.)
- If you prefer the peas to be completely smooth, at this point you should puree the mixture in a blender or food processor, then return it to your stockpot. (If you have an immersion blender, even better — no transferring needed.)
- Add the carrots, onion, and ham. Let simmer until carrots are soft.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
It’s Even Better the Second Time Around
Be sure to make a lot, because soup — like so many other things, such as chili, spaghetti sauce, even lasagna — are better the second day because the flavors have time to "marry."
Besides, it's really nice, on a cold winter day, to be able to open the freezer and pull out a container of soup to thaw. No need to cook, just warm it and serve your family. Heck, that's nice any day.
A Quick Food Safety Reminder
I include this important safety precaution in all my soup and chili recipes. It’s that important.
Be sure to separate large quantities of hot foods into smaller containers before storing them in your fridge or freezer.
After cooking a large pot of soup or any other food, it can be tempting to put the whole pot into the fridge. Don’t do it!
With such large amounts, the portion in the center of the pot does not cool off fast enough and will allow bacteria to grow, ruining the entire pot that could have fed your family for several days.
© 2021 MariaMontgomery