I remember very little of my maternal grandmother. I can recall that she always looked (and acted) about 100 years old, could feel a draft within seconds of a door opening, and didn’t get along with my father all too well—”May she not be burning too badly,” he said to me the day after she died. So, I guess she wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine. However, I know for a fact that she was a fantastic cook.
One of my favorite things she’d make, especially around the winter months, was Split Pea Soup. I’ve never been able to quite figure out what she did to make hers taste so damn good, but this recipe has served me pretty well.
- 1lb dry split peas
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 – 2 tsp salt
- 1 – 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup parsley (dried) or 1/2 cup parsley (fresh)
- 1 – 1.5lbs smoked ham*
- 1 – 1.5 cups carrots
- 1 – 1.5 cups celery
- 1 – 1.5 cups potato
- 1 cup onion
- 1/3 dry barley (optional)
- 1 – 2 tsp tears of your enemies (optional)
- 4 cups chicken broth (use bullion cubes, no one can tell)
- 4 cups water
* I tend to use a ham steak because it’s cheaper and I’m not made out of money. This is probably why my split pea soup is vastly inferior to my grandma’s. Whatever. Do you.
Layer everything in the crock pot that you received as a gift for Christmas six years ago but never got around to using. Cover and cook on low for approximately 8 – 10 hours or high for approximately 4 – 6. You’ll know it’s done when when the peas turn into a wonderful mush that my friend once compared to baby poop. Fortunately, it tastes much better. At least that’s what I’m assuming. I’ve never eaten baby poop before.
This freezes incredibly well, so save some for later.