Monday, March 3, 2014


"Shhh! I gotta focus. I'm shifting into soup mode."
- George, in "The Soup Nazi" (Seinfeld)

Even without the soup nazi on my block, I definitely share George's reverence for soup. Winter, spring, fall, and even summer…..I'm ALWAYS in soup mode. I absolutely LOVE soup. Get the message?? 

In fact, I've been relying on warm, steaming bowls of goodness to get me through this frigid, seemingly endless winter. 

 And what better soup for the job than a thick, hearty split pea?

(Cue the teenage girl in the house: "EEEUUUWWW….what's THAT??") 
Ok, I admit it--split pea is not the most attractive of soups. But what it lacks in elegance, it more than makes up for in heartiness. It's also a great source of complex carbs and fiber. 

I have to warn you that it does need a few hours of cooking (unless you want to presoak the beans and/or puree it in a blender). I say why bother fussing when a dish is fully capable of cooking itself? You don't even need to sautĂ© the veggies. It's so EASY. No fuss comfort food--the best kind!

Traditionally, split pea soup calls for a ham shank….to which I say, "Ick." I can't even look at those things. I prefer to add chopped ham at the end, if desired. That way, those who don't like ham can pretty easily avoid it. In my house, ham makes the hubby happy, but my portion is meat-free. 


1 lb dried split peas, rinsed and picked through
1  quart chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium, preferably organic)
2 cups filtered water
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 celery stalks, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cubed ham (optional)

Do this:

1. In a large Dutch oven, combine peas, broth, water and onion. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Cover loosely and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. 

2. Add carrots and celery and continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 1 1/2 hours or until soup has thickened. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives. 

I like to serve it with a few of my favorite crackers, which just happen to be gluten-free: Mary's Gone Crackers.

See, I said it was easy!  



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