As I look back to when I was much younger, I am reminded that my mom would always have comfort food for dinner, especially when it was cold, rainy, or snowy outside. To me comfort food is like a big hug, which just wraps its arms around you, and makes you feel safe at home. I found a photo of my brother Chris and myself when we were very young. (1964) These would be the days that comfort foods were defiantly needed.
|My brother Chris and I (1964)|
Some of my mom’s favorite foods that she would prepare for us would be lentils, chickpeas, and dry peas, plus many other hearty vegetables. These meals were sometimes mixed with pasta, like the lentils and chickpeas, and the dry peas were made into a very thick and hearty nutritious soup. It was a lot of work to cook homemade food, rather than using a can or jar. My mom knew that it was worth the extra time even though she was a teacher and had to work, she knew it was important to eat and enjoy a healthy meal that was made with love. Speaking of soups, the second week in November is “National Split Pea Soup Week.” So, stay a while and let’s explore some information that you may not know about split peas.
It is a food holiday that is only celebrated in the United States since 1969. But split pea soup recipes in some form or another are enjoyed all over the world. North Dakota and Montana farmers grow 84% of all the dried peas, making them our top producers in the United States. Pea soup is made from dried peas. Many cultures have variations of this soup. The color of many varieties of peas comes in a grayish-green or yellow color depending on the region they are cultivated in. Pea soup has been eaten since antiquity. According to a source, the Greeks and Romans were cultivating this legume about 500 to 400 BC. During that era, vendors in the streets of Athens were selling hot pea soup.
My recipe this week, you guessed it, “Split Pea Soup”. For starters, you need a meaty ham bone. So the next time you buy a ham on the bone, save the bones, or freeze them. When you have enough, make this wonderful rich thick soup, that will leave you and your family warm inside and asking for more.
“Split Pea Soup”
Serves-10 to 12 people
1 lb of split peas, washed & sorted
3 quarts of water
1 large ham bone
4 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of fresh oregano or dried
2 tsp of instant chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp of black Pepper
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups of sliced carrots
3 cups of finely chopped celery
In a deep pot, combine the peas, water, ham bone, onion, bouillon and the seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ham bone and trim off all the meat, chop it finely and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the carrots and celery and simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 hours or until the soup is thick. Serve with hot crusty bread and a crisp green salad.
Till Next Time……
Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved