Split Pea Soups

Here’s a split pea potato soup recipe we’ve enjoyed:

1 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cup split peas
6 diced potatoes
15 cups water
1 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 t. salt

In a large stock pot brown the onions in a small amount of oil. Add everything else but the parmesan cheese to the stock pot (rinse your split peas first). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 45 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender (I inherited mine and I love it). Add parmesan cheese and serve.
This serves 10-12- add the bread and perhaps some fruit or carrots sticks and you can stretch it a bit more. You can also add grated carrots to the soup (grated they will cook faster) and thin it with water if you need to. Naturally, it will taste even better if you add some ham to it, or at least a ham bone for flavor.

Here is the Split Pea Soup recipe which served me for the first decade of our marriage.  It comes from The Creative Homemaker, by Mary LaGrand Bouma:

A ham bone (or, I learned, some sausage, bacon, ham, or even Spam if that is what you have in your hand).
One pound dried, split peas
One large minced onion

3 quarts of water
salt and pepper to taste

put the ingredients in your soup pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer three to 4 hours, stirring occasionally (you can remove it to the crockpot at this point if you like). Season as desired. Remove bone when ready to serve. Ladle into bowls. Serve with hot muffins or corn bread and carrot sticks. Serves 5 or 6.

If you have a grain mill that can grind your beans, then you should look at the book Country Beans, which explains how to use bean flours to make instant bean soups, cream soups, and other delicious bean flour dishes. I’ve shared some of them here before here, here, here, and here.

Adapting wildly from that book, here is one example of a pea soup recipe at our house:

Grate four cups of carrots

Chop an onion or two (we used red onion tonight and did only one, but we could have used more)

Chop some celery (tonight we had about a cup of celery, but could have used more)
Scrub and grate three potatoes (or about 3 cups)

Saute the onion and celery in oil or bacon grease in your large soup stock pan. Add SIXTEEN cups of water, the carrots, potatoes, and some broth powder for flavor.
Simmer this until the vegetables are nearly done. Add garlic (remember our mantra is that any food can be improved by either more garlic or more chocolate). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil. Whisk into the boiling mixture three cups of freshly ground split pea flour (we used yellow split peas). You can use less than three, but probably shouldn’t use less than 2 cups. Continue to whisk (I ended up using the hand mixer, very carefully) until all the lumps are gone. Simmer another fifteen minutes or so, or until it doesn’t taste like raw peas anymore. You can make it early and put it in the crockpot all day, too.

This serves 9 people very generously, leaving more than enough leftovers for us to have for lunch the next day, hot or cold. We could have another family our size over for dinner, or we could take it to a potluck dinner in the crockpot (and we have done this before- we just bring disposable bowls and spoons). It’s good with toasted whole grain bread and butter on the side and  milk to drink.

You can add a hambone, some bacon, sausage, or ham to it if you like, but it’s quite filling without it. I’ve also added crumbled seaweed to it before instead of the bouillon powder, and that was very good, too.

It is rich and filling, tasting almost buttery to me.
Here’s a simpler version from Country Beans
Basic Instant pea soup

Boil 2 cups of water (or broth, liquid from a cooked ham would be tasty)
Whisk in 3 Tablespoons finely ground dried pea flour, stir for one minute
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook two more minutes. For a thicker soup (preferred at our house), use up to 1/3 cup flour

I add all kinds of things to this- you can add grated carrots, pototes, onion, minced celery, sea weed, green onion- bits of meat, as you desire. Add raw vegetables to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes first, then you add the pea flour. For the amount of water listed above, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped, shredded, diced veggies (you could also add bits of leftover baked potato, bits of whole, cooked peas- be creative. Use some instant mashed potato flakes if you have them).

The basic recipe serves 2. Obviously, I increase this, and also obviously, the more veggies and liquid you add, the more you stretch your soup.

We also like our pea soap so thick that when it cools it is thick enough to spread on bread for sandwiches- very hearty meal in winter.

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