When a co-worker mentioned that she was going to cook split pea soup for her family; I thought to myself that I haven’t eaten this soup since I was a child. Split pea soup was a standard menu item on Saturday lunches, but I have never tried to make it myself since growing up. And I really like this soup. So Val sent me the general recipe via Facebook and here’s my attempt at the soup.The recipe uses dried split peas. These peas cook in a much shorter time than other dried beans. They are in the lentil family but considered to be a different type of bean from ordinary lentils. Split peas are garden green peas which have been dried, hulled and split. As a lentil, they are a very healthy pea with lots of nutritional value. The peas are low in calories, high in protein and fiber and also supply Vitamins A and B, potassium and magnesium. The type of fiber in split peas is the fiber that helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
Val’s recipe is basically as I remember it–a little spiced up to go along with our Cajun cuisine. The recipe has lots of onions and garlic, I added a bay leaf, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Because I’m using purchased chicken stock; I didn’t add additional salt.
One thing I remember about my mother’s soup was that it always contained chunks of ham and carrots. Val’s recipe has these two ingredients. For this soup, I plan to dice the ham further and cut the larger carrot pieces in halves. The carrots could also be diced.
The soup is easy to make and cooks in about one and one-half hours. Saute the chopped onion and garlic until translucent. Add the ham, carrots, red pepper flakes, black pepper and saute a few minutes longer. Then add the dried split peas which have been sorted, washed and drained; also the chicken stock, water and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Easy enough. Serve with multi-grain crackers.
Val said she make this on a Friday night using 2 pounds of split peas. She planned to bring some to work; but her family of 3 daughters and husband ate the entire soup pot! Oh, well, I made my own soup!
Val's Split Pea Soup
- 1 lb dried green split peas
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1-1/2 cup sliced carrots (4 carrots)
- 2 cups diced ham (12 oz)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- assorted multi-grain crackers
Method and Steps:
- Wash, sort and rinse dried split peas, set aside.
- Heat oil to medium high in large stock pot or Dutch oven on stove. Add the onions and garlic and saute about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the diced ham, carrots, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes until ham is seared.
- Add chicken stock, water and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender; about 1-1/2 hour. Remove bay leaf.
- Serve soup with multi-grain crackers.