Monday, January 25, 2010

Soup Days

Fans of James Marshall and teachers of young children know that Martha loved making split pea soup for her friend George, and George, not wanting to hurt his dear friend's feelings, when she was out of the room, poured the soup into his loafers.


Unlike George, I am a great fan of split pea soup. If your package of dried split peas doesn't have directions for it, like my last package of them didn't, here's a recipe for you. In addition to the ingredients, will you will need cool weather and a little patience.

Rinse one pound of split peas (why do we rinse these? Is it a call back to a darker, less hygenic era?) and place in a soup pot. Add: one diced onion, two peeled, diced carrots, one longish stalk diced celery (leaves add flavor, too) 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low. Add water as necessary.
After an hour add a teaspoon dried thyme. Cook until the consistency of your favorite bowl of split pea soup. Add pepper to taste, and 1 tsp to 1 tbls salt. You can throw a smoked ham hock in, if you like, or dice up some ham and add right before serving. My personal favorite: a dollop of sour cream on top.

And what of George and Martha? After Martha offered him an 11th serving of the soup, he finally came clean. Martha promised to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Hmm, that suggests a future post.

PS: Inspired by AH, here's a link to Flanders and Swann, and their take on hippopotami...


  1. Slow your food down, Dez. I haven't finished celebrating Pie Days yet.

  2. I had a hippopotamus but nothing upon earth
    Is constant in its happiness or lasting in its mirth...

  3. CP--What can I say? I've got a schedule to stick to, even if I've been flaking, like a pie crust.
    AH: That poem is new to me, but prodded me to hunt down a track from Flanders and Swann. Know them?

  4. When the rains return, pea soup will be in my pot.

  5. I toss in a chopped potato, too, to thicken it. And I don't rinse the peas anymore because I don't know why this is required, either. So far I've survived. This go-round we're going to try Canadian bacon instead of ham. It's got a little less sodium. (Any better ideas for a low-salt ham substitute?)

  6. I thought the purpose of rinsing was to ensure any little pieces of gravel that might have made it into the bag.

  7. Oh. Yeah. Gravel would be bad.

  8. I love pea soup and have made many bad batches. My mom tells me it's because I haven't used a ham bone . . . I'm willing to give it another try!