Split Pea Soup
We offer these recipes as a help in adding to our prayer and experience of solidarity with the poor during Lent.  Of course, they can be used at any time during the year.

Pea SoupPea Soup is an easy to make meal, with lots of fiber and protein.

It is easy to pray for all the areas of the world where pea soup is popular, particularly in India, northern Europe and many areas of the Americas.

The traditional split pea soup often includes a ham bone or a ham hock or two. Making the soup without bones produces a very fresh pea soup taste, which is very special. This soup can be enhanced in a variety of ways. A small carton of half and half or sour cream could be added near the end of cooking, for a very rich, creamy version. (Don’t add the cream to the hot soup. Be sure to put the milk product in a mixing bowl first and then add half a ladle of hot soup first and stir, adding another ladle and stirring, until the cream is approaching the soup temperature. Then add the mixed cream and pea soup to the whole pot.) The soup can be enhanced with oyster crackers or garlic bread or croutons. A dash or two of Cayenne pepper to a bowl can add a spicy flavor.

Ingredients: This recipe produces a small pot of soup. Double it for a larger pot.

1 package of dried, green split peas. (Yellow split peas can be used as well, for a slightly different flavor.)
1 small onion, diced
3 medium carrots, chopped, then diced
3 stalks of celery, chopped, then diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 quarts of water
3 T of olive oil (optional: a dash of liquid smoke)

Preparation:

Wash dried peas in cold water, several times, until the foam stops appearing. A fine strainer is helpful.
Cover peas with twice as much water as there are peas and let sit in a refrigerator overnight.
The peas will swell and absorb most of the water.

Alternatively, bring to a boil – without adding salt. Reduce to just below a boil and stir periodically, and finally, reduce to a simmer. Cook peas for about an hour and let them rest.

Pour olive oil in medium soup pan.
Sauté carrots and celery and then onions and finally garlic together in a soup pan.
Add the peas to the soup pan, with more water – again about 50% more water than solid product.
Add bay leaves and black pepper.
Cook for another hour.
Taste peas for doneness.

When peas are soft to the taste, remove the bay leaves, use a hand blender to blend the peas to the desired smoothness. Taste again, to see if soup is ready to serve. Soup will thicken as it cools and further absorbs fluid.

More liquid could be added to saved leftovers.



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