When you live in a house with five people, it's often hard to reach a consensus on just about anything. You know what I mean: toilet lid up or down, chicken or the egg, paper or plastic. But, in our house, there's at least one thing that everyone agrees upon: NO SPLIT PEA SOUP. Everyone, except me, that is.
I love Split Pea Soup. It reminds me of cold days of my childhood when we would come home from school with the smells of soup and fresh, buttery toasted french bread croutons filling the house. I'd sit next to my Dad and watch as he delicately dotted his bowl with droplets of Tobasco. I felt so 'big' when he let me add some to mine. And, of course, half the fun was helping my Mom cook the soup! That's me on the right....
And so, tonight, the rest of the family can eat leftovers for all I care. Tonight, it's all about ME and my Split Pea Soup. It's a thick, bowl of goodness filled with smokey ham and topped with slightly-burned french bread croutons. YUM! I like to make the croutons at the last minute and listen to them 'sizzle' when added to the soup. And, the best part, this soup is sooo simple. Way easier than last night! Let's get cookin'....
SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 lb of split peas
1/2 pound chopped ham
1 large chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 large carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
8 cups of water
herbs de provence
1/2 cup of milk or cream
Place peas in pot and rinse. Remove any weird-looking peas. Rinse again. Now add everything else, except the herbs and cream, to the pot. Is that easy or WHAT?? Simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring now and then to make sure it's not sticking. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Is it just me, or is that pot smiling??)
FRENCH BREAD CROUTONS
1 french bread (preferably stale) cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1 stick of butter
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the cubes and toss to coat them all. Continue turning the cubes (now and then), over medium heat. These taste best with a little 'burn' on them, in my opinion. Add the hot croutons to your soup.
I feel so rebellious! This pot of green goodness is sure to please me, while producing many wrinkled noses and cries of "Ewwww" from 'the troops.' (Think Linda Blair in The Exorcist). But, some days, you just have to say, "tough luck."
This guy would never make it at my house!
So, go ahead, try some something easy peasy for dinner tonight! Now, maybe I'll go get a pedicure.....