Last week at lunch Laura was eating a split pea soup. The soup reminded me of how much I love the split pea soup my mom makes: it's so not the same as the soup you buy in cans here in the States. My mom's soup is a combination of peas, carrots, potatoes and onions: it's delicious on a winter day, especially when served with home-made croutons. That's exactly what I decided to make over the weekend: Home-made Croutons & My Mom's Split Pea Soup. I called my mom and wrote down her cooking method for the soup, but at the end did not have the time or the patience to follow through with her instructions a 100%, so what you see below is my own version.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut a few slices of wholewheat bread into large squares. In a bowl, drizzle the bread with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic powder.
3. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through the baking process.
For the soup:
1 cup split peas
1 gallon water (I used part water, part chicken stock)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt & pepper to taste
1. Boil about 4 cups of water; pour the water over the peas and let them sit covered for about an hour.
2. In a large pot bring to a boil another 4 cups of water (or stock), add the peas, lower the heat and let the peas simmer for about an hour, until they are tender (my mom cooks hers for 2 hours, until the peas lose all of their definition and turn into a mush). Keep an eye on the peas to make sure there is enough liquid.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan; add garlic, onions and carrots and saute for about 7-10 minutes.
4. Once the peas are cooked, add the remaining liquid, bring to a boil, add cubed potatoes, and bring back to the boil. Remove any of the foam formed by potatoes, lower the heat, and let the potatoes cook until almost done.
5. Add garlic/onion/carrot mixture to the soup, bring the soup back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are completely cooked through.
6. Serve the soup with croutons and minced parsley.
Thoughts: This definitely wasn't the same as my mom's soup: hers is way better. But the flavor was similar. I think I either added too much water, or (okay, this is for sure) did not cook the peas long enough. The soup thickened up after sitting in the refrigerator for a day, but not to the level of thickness my mom's soup usually is. Live and learn!
Since this is another post about my parents' cooking (see the one about trout that my dad guest-blogged), I decided to include a photograph of my parents. This photo must have been taken shortly after their wedding in 1978. My mom was only 25 and my dad was 29...how the times flies! I think this is one of my most favorite photographs of the two of them.