Sunday, January 15, 2012

Umm-Umm Good

In all my years of cooking, I have never attempted to make split pea soup. I love it out of a can, but really, how much extra salt does a body need? My mom used to make it and it seemed like it took forever. The rinsing and soaking, and whatever other rituals she used to go through kind of turned me off to preparing it from scratch. Well yesterday I was in the market doing my weekly dash down the aisles and I picked up a bag of split peas, got home, chopped some veggies and within the hour had a steaming, delectable pot of soup that I'll certainly make again, and again, and again. It was just so easy.

Turkey Bacon and Split Pea Soup
Serves 4

2 tsp canola oil

2 carrots diced

2 ribs of celery diced

1 cup onions diced

3 slices turkey bacon diced

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

6 oz dried split peas

1 14.5 oz can low sodium, fat free chicken broth

4-1/2 cups water

In a colander, rinse peas under running water and check for any stones or debris that may be hidden. I didn't find anything, but it's good to check. Set aside.

Heat oil in large pot over medium to low heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and bacon. Add salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables and bacon soften but do not brown (about 10 minutes). Add chicken stock, water and split peas and bring to boil. Cover pot, lower heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with croutons for garnish.

Re-mix: Since this was my first time making this soup, I took the simple route and didn't add any exotic seasonings. Next time I will add a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin for a bit more warmth, and a dash of ground cayenne pepper for some heat. Tonight I reheated the soup and enjoyed it with a grilled brie and pepper jelly flat bread sandwich. Umm-umm good.

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