Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold Weather = Pea Soup!

Look who is posting again and it's only the 15th of the month!  I've been making a few new things over the past two weeks.  One was a shot at my own version of healthy high-protein bars.  I even took beautiful pictures of all of the ingredients together, and tutorial shots as I was making them (because I love when I see that on other blogs), and I was so sure they were going to taste delicious.  They contained peanut butter, banana, and oatmeal (among other ingredients); I figured they HAD to taste yummy.  But they were an absolute FAIL.  They were so awful my husband who eats everything could not even eat more than one tiny piece.  They are still sitting in my fridge because I hate to throw them out.

Then I tried those cute scrambled egg muffins that I keep seeing online everywhere.  They were really just okay and my boys would not eat them, which was the main reason why I made them in the first place.  But they did look really cute!

So I decided to go back to basics and make something that I've been making ever since college... 

Pea Soup!  I guess you either love it or hate it, and I happen to fall into the former category.  It's just something I crave when the weather gets cold.  If you are feeling really decadent (which I was, but I had enough decadence over the holidays, and now I just need to cut down on that a bit!) add a little smoked Gouda cheese in at the end.  I know it sounds weird, but it's SO good!

Split Pea Soup
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
~3 cups dried green split peas*
4 cups low sodium chicken (or vegetable) stock
6 cups water
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 # carrots, diced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
*I don't ever soak mine, but supposedly if you soak them overnight the cooking time is less.

1.  In large Dutch Oven or stock pot, over medium-high heat, saute olive oil, onion, and garlic until onion is translucent.
2.  Add bay leaves, split peas, stock, and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.
3.  Add potatoes, carrots, black pepper, and salt.  You can adjust the amount of salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, add a little cumin (which I never do because I don't like it in my pea soup, but I know lots of people do!) or a little curry powder (which I DO sometimes add).  Simmer 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until all vegetables are softened and peas have broken down.  Add a little water while the soup is cooking if it is getting too thick for your taste.
4.  As I said above, you can shred or cube some smoked Gouda cheese and add it at the end.  Start with a handful and stir it in until it melts.  Add more to taste.  You can also add leftover cubed ham.

This soup freezes well so I usually cool half and freeze it in a large Ziplock bag.  It will be thick when you reheat it (which I like) but if it is too thick, you can add a little water or stock to it as you reheat it.


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