Split Pea Soup

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I….. like this!

This is another recipe that’s been ‘living’ in my recipe folders long enough to turn yellow-y (the paper, that is).  I’ve always liked pea soup, but my husband– not so much.  He tells of how they had really good cooks at his high school, but that he hated it when pea soup was on the menu back then.

Those were the days when schools around here had cooking/baking cooks, and not as many ‘can/box/package openers’.  My opinion is that too many of today’s ‘school lunch crews’ are more of food handlers than cooks.  Maybe it isn’t like this everywhere, but… maybe it is.  It seems today’s kids come home from school with their ‘food needle’ bordering on what they interpret as ‘starving’.

Contrast this to the days– well, only 50 years ago!, when we had a full ‘farmer kind of meal’ each noon at school.  M-m-m-m-m-m-m, there was in-house freshly baked bread, real potatoes that started their day out with peelings, etc.  Regularly!!!!   The air in the hallways started smelling SO DARNED GOOD between 10:30-11:00 each school day– we looked forward to the feast being prepared by some of our community’s best cooks!!!!!!  Oh, the great memories.

Back to the subject of ……… PEA SOUP.   I think hubby’s school’s cooks might not(?) have included as many ingredients as this recipe because… hubby actually eats this!!!!!    This is a simple recipe, for sure, and it makes good use of any tasty ham left over from a special meal.  (Each year, a few days before Thanksgiving Day, a good friend drops off a large whole Hillshire ham– THANK YOU, sir!  We save it for the last days of the year.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound dried yellow or green (or a combination) split peas.  This is about 2 and 1/4 cups worth.
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 med.-large onion
  • 3-4 large carrots (The ones I used weren’t so ‘large’, but they sure were l-o-n-g!!!)
  • 1 cup fully cooked ham, cubed (I used 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves (remove and discard before serving)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place peas in a colander.  Rinse peas with water and remove any dented or discolored peas.
  2. Scrape carrots and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Chop onion into 1/2-inch pieces.
  4. In large kettle or Dutch oven, mix peas, the 8 cups water, chopped carrots, chopped onion, chopped ham, salt, pepper and 2 bay leaves.  Stir well.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  6. *Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour or so, or until soup is thick and peas are soft.*
  7. Carefully remove bay leaves and throw them away.

* At this point, I poured everything into my slow cooker (high setting) and let it go for about six hours.  Don’t go pouring this boiling hot mixture into a really cold stoneware kind of crock pot dish– to avoid that, I turned the crock pot on a few minutes before I was ready.  Otherwise, you could ‘warm it’ with first warm water, and then hot.  The temperatures of crock pots vary (at least, mine do!).  Check the soup for doneness after 6 hours.  Enjoy………………………..’til it’s gone!

Source Recipe: http://milkmaidrecipebox.blogspot.com

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