Monday, March 5, 2007

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup
Dorcas Annette Walker

March is always unpredictable weather wise. The month tantalizes a person with warm spring days that make you itch to get outside and begin gardening, only for the weather to turn wintry and cold overnight. You never know from day to day just what the weather will be like. For a blustery chilly day Split Pea Soup is a great dish to warm you up and tide you over until the weather turns warm again. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’m going to be using green foods in my recipes this month.

Split Pea Soup is made of dried, split peas, which have a great source of folate, fiber, iron, and protein as well as being low in fat. Here in the United States Split Pea Soup is merely one of many kinds of pea soups. Some people eat Split Pea Soup with corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the color green. England gave us a well-known nursery rhyme about pea soup, which appeared first in 1765; Pease porridge hot. Pease porridge cold. Pease porridge in the pot. Nine days old. Pease is the archaic form of the word pea. Pea soup is a common dish throughout Germany and the Netherlands often containing bacon, sausage, or smoked pork and eaten with rye bread. According to one source the Greeks and Romans were selling hot pea soup in the streets of Athens around 500 to 400 BC. The second week in November is National Split Pea Soup week. One cookbook alone features over one hundred and fifty recipes using split peas.

My first introduction to Split Pea Soup was at my grandmother’s table. She would simmer on the stove all afternoon a huge pot of Split Pea Soup filling the house with a mouth-watering aroma. As a finishing touch my grandmother would drop spoon biscuits into the boiling soup that would rise to the top and puff up. It was a hardy and filling dish. My Split Pea Soup recipe takes three hours to make serves around eight, and leftovers can be frozen. You can also make Split Pea Soup in a crock-pot on a busy day. Put in all ingredients of my recipe (reduce water to fit crock-pot) in a crock-pot and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until all ingredients are cooked and soft.

Split Pea Soup

Take one meaty ham bone and cover with around 16 c water in large pot.
(I freeze leftover ham bones and meat scraps for soups.)

1 lb of dried split peas
1 tb dried onions or 1 small fresh onion diced
1 tsp salt.
Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 2 hours stirring often.

Add to soup:
5 carrots peeled and sliced
4 medium sized potatoes peeled and diced
Cook until soft and simmer for another hour or until ready to serve. (Add water if soup gets too thick.) Serve hot with homemade bread or rolls. Garnish soup with carrot curls!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: or htpp:// for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.

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