Friday, February 26, 2010

Souper Supper

Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?

- Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

It's been a little while since I've shared a recipe with you. This is my husband's favorite soup dinner. It's a soup that can be hearty enough for a meal, and he claims he'd be happy to eat it every night! I like to make this meal because it is so easy. It only takes me a few minutes to prepare.

Split Pea Soup

Basic Ingredients:

1 pound of dried split peas
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon whole rosemary, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon salt (added after cooking is finished)

Optional Additions: Choose any combination

1 c. Carrots (thin-sliced fresh or frozen of any style), add at the beginning
1 c. chopped fresh onion or 2 tablespoons of dried onion, add at the beginning

1 c. frozen or fresh cauliflower florets (microwave 5-7 minutes until done, add at the end)
1 c. frozen or fresh broccoli florets (microwave 5-7 minutes until done, add at the end)
1-2 c. frozen corn ( added at the end, no extra cooking needed)
2 c. Potatoes, cubed (microwaved 10 minutes,add at the end or use cold, leftover potatoes),
add at the end
2 c. cooked pasta of any type (or cold, leftover pasta from the fridge), add at the end


If I start this recipe in the Crockpot between 10:00 AM and noon, then it's ready in time for supper.

Place the split peas in Crockpot and rinse with warm water. Pour off as much of the water as you can without losing the peas and refill the pot. Fill the pot 2/3 full.

Add all of the spices except the salt.

Cook the split peas 4-6 hours on high in the Crockpot.

Remove the four bay leaves with a slotted spoon. Use a whisk to blend the peas until the mixture is smooth. Place the lid back on the soup and prepare the additional recipe ingredients.

Add the additional ingredients once they are ready and place the lid back on the soup. Let the soup continue cooking for 15 minutes -- enough time for the flavors to blend, but not enough time for the vegetables and pasta to become mushy.

Add the salt. If it still tastes "flat", add another 1/2 teaspoon or sprinkle some salt on top of the soup in your bowl.

Serving suggestions:

This soup is delicious with a whole-grain bread or baked potato and a salad on the side. My husband likes to break the bread or baked potato into a large bowl and spoon the soup over it.

Favorite breads include: sourdough, whole grain, pumpernickel, rye, and French. Sometimes I serve grilled cheese sandwiches to my college sons with the soup.

We do not eat any meat in this soup. Combining it with corn or whole grain bread provides a complete protein. But for meat lovers, adding ham or bacon will add extra flavor and heartiness. The ham or bacon should be cooked before adding it at the end.

This meal makes a very comforting dinner on cold winter nights!

All recipes, copyright 2010 Cassandra Frear.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds excellent. Unfortunately, I am the only one in my house who eats soup, however I know a few ladies at church who would love this! I am going to make a pot soon :) Thanks for the recipe.


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