I remember the exact day when I started to grow an appreciation for this small, starchy vegetable. It was my freshman year at Washburn and I was hanging out with Rachel Martin almost every day, or at least every other day. One Sunday after church, she invited me over to her house, then at Mrs. Gordy's, and she made us a truly unique lunch of defrosted burritos, mac-n-cheese and peas. We ate as we watched Howls' Moving Castle.
Rachel told me I should mix the peas and mac-n-cheese together, contrary to my very confused face. And something beautiful had been born-- a comfort food that would last me through the rest of my college years.
While my affair with mac-n-cheese and peas continued on, I had no idea that such a thing as Split Pea Soup existed until I moved to Miami. My husband had ordered it at a restaurant shortly after our honeymoon, and I stole a taste from his bowl. While it's not fancy, it's definitely not pretty, its simple flavor and texture is so satisfying.
So, I give you my simplified version of this soup, but this is no puny soup. It's hearty and very thick. I hate to say it, but peas just aren't that photogenic and I debated for a while whether to even put up a picture. But I just I couldn't bring myself to take a photo.... but you must take my word for it that this soup's delicious! Here's what you need:
Simple Split Pea Soup:
1 T. Olive Oil
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Bayleaf (Or 1 tsp. ground)
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 C. Dried Split Peas
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
6 C. Water
2/3 C. Chicken Broth
2 Carrots, Steamed and Finely Chopped
1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/2 C. Chopped Parsley
In large pot over medium heat, saute oil, onion, bayleaf and garlic for five minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add peas, salt and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour to one hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
Add carrots, parsley, basic and pepper. Simmer until peas and vegetables are tender and soup is thick-- about half an hour.