After a summer of lots of crispy fresh salads, the days turn cold, the garden is covered in frost and something inside me clicks. It’s time for soup…
One of my favorites is Split Pea soup with Olivia’s Butter & Garlic croutons. I can’t have one without the other. Pea Soup is so easy to make. Its best with a ham bone, but a quick substitute can be bacon. I start with a ham bone that at one time or another I have stuck in my freezer. Add about a quart of water, a large onion, a couple bay leaves, a few pepper corns and a little salt. I let this simmer for an hour or two until the ham is falling of the bone and the broth has some taste. I remove the bone, pick the meat from the bone, return it to the soup, add about 1-1 ½ cups of green split peas and let simmer another 2-3 hours on really low heat. Sometimes I add carrots toward the end of the cook time, too soon and the color of the soup gets a little questionable… Because I work at home, it’s easy for me to check my soup periodically.
If you don’t have a ham bone, sauté about a pound of bacon, cut into small pieces, remove most of the fat and proceed as above, you might want to add some vegetable broth to prop up the flavor.
If you work outside your home, try a crock pot. It’s really hard to beat this filling, delicious soup, generously sprinkled with the croutons. The butter and garlic are a perfect combination with the peas and ham.