Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday's Meal: Split Pea Soup

I am all for easy recipes, and I often look for shortcuts.  I've been making split pea soup for a few years now and have modified the original recipe to the quick and easy one I usually make.  But for those who like and have time for all the chopping, I've kept the original and in parentheses is the way I actually make this recipe.
2 1/2 cups split peas
2 quarts water
1 onion, finely chopped (1 large handful of dehydrated onion)
2 carrots, chopped (1 large carrot, grated)
1 stalk celery, chopped (if I have celery I use it, I often don't have celery)
2 tsp salt (I use 2 tsp garlic salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp of one of these herbs: oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, sage.  It depends on my mood which one I pick.
Soak the peas in enough water to cover the peas at least 2" for 8-10 hours (I soak overnight).  Drain, rinse and add 2 quarts of fresh water and all the other ingredients (I keep the salt out and add it in when the peas are done).  Bring to a boil (I like to skim off all the starchy foam), reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, or until the peas dissolve.
I then take a stick blender and blend the peas so they are slightly chunky, but mostly smooth.  At this point I add the garlic salt.
I cool the soup and then freeze it into ice cube trays, that way I can have soup at a moments notice.  If you freeze it, you will need to add water to the soup when you warm it up.
Here are some topping suggestions:
fresh ground pepper
Grated cheese: Parmesan, Romano, cheddar, pepper jack
Goldfish crackers
Cooked ham pieces
Bacon bits
Chopped chives
Sliced olives
French fried onions