Sunday, January 22, 2012

split-pea soup

i will admit that i am hesitant to blog this recipe, because i do realize that as much as i can attempt to assure you that this soup is delicious, any picture that i can find of split pea soup looks more than unappetizing. 
my husband was not quite thrilled about my suggestion of this meal in the first place, but i managed to talk him into trying it just once. i was rather nervous that once he saw it he might be unwilling to try it, but he was a good sport and he tried it and actually enjoyed it and said that he would let me make it again.

i was actually really excited to make this soup for another reason- i have never used dried beans before. i have wanted to many times, but for some reason i avoided them. probably mostly due to being raised in a world of convenience. but i have always used canned or frozen beans and peas in all of my cooking ventures.
(and i will add that my mother often used dried beans when i was growing up, so i knew how to cook them, but had just never done it myself)

and i have to admit, i plan to used dried beans a lot in the future. they are SO ridiculously inexpensive compared to canned beans and are very simple. although they do take a little more planning ahead.

so.... this is what my version of split pea soup ended up looking like:

and i can agree that it isn't very pretty 
but in my recipe, i did try to disguise the gross 'pea-green' color 
which is what i feel is the most unappealing part of the traditional split pea soup.

this is what it generally looks like:

a rather unappetizing yellow-green color

or here is a pureed version.

i thought that for my introduction of split-pea soup to my husband that it might be better accepted if it wasn't such a jarring color, so i added lots of paprika and grated carrots to turn the soup more of a brownish color
here is my recipe:

split-pea soup

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 stalk celery, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika (i actually added about 2)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp pepper
1- 14 oz. or 16 oz. pkg dried green split peas, rinsed
7 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2 ham hocks
{i didn't have ham hocks, so i just used diced ham}
1-2 tsps. salt (to taste)

1. heat the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. 
2. add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes

 (i like to dice the celery really finely because i honestly don't like the texture of celery)

(i like to grate the carrots rather than chopping them because they get more tender and i feel like they give off more of their flavor and color to the soup when they are grated)

3. add herbs, dried peas, water, and broth

4. add ham hocks.
{or if you don't have ham hocks wait to add the ham till after the soup cooks for a couple hours to prevent the ham from getting tough}

5. bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 2 hours.
6. remove ham hocks and pick ham off bones. add shredded ham back to soup and return to a boil
7. add salt to taste.
8. let soup simmer for another 30-45 minutes.

9. can serve plain or with sour cream and croutons.

and here's one picture of the 'kids' that i thought that i would share.
as you can see, amos has officially caught up with paisley in height! 
they are both such great helpers in the kitchen.

i love that i caught paisley 'singing' and i love amos's ears in reaction to paisley's song.

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