Friday, November 14, 2014

For A Cold and Windy Day, “Split Pea Soup” Is On The Menu!

It’s the middle of November and here on Long Island the temperatures are finally getting colder. It’s that time of year again when the fall season is in full swing. The holidays are coming close and it’s time to be with family in a warm, comfortable home.  

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. 

“Pea Soup” usually means a perfectly smooth puree. “Split Pea Soup” is a slightly thinner soup with visible peas, pieces of ham, and vegetables (mostly carrots). This is done by using dried, green split peas. As consumers become more aware of the tremendous health benefits of peas, we are encouraged to eat this popular staple food and share it with our friends and family. So pull out those cookbooks and try a new bean recipe, or cook a nice pot to share with your whole family. Did you know peas, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber, protein, are fat-free, sodium free, are a good source of iron, potassium, and finally, are all gluten-free.

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


  1. Oh yes we can all do with some comfort food at this time of year. Especially a soup like this. I have never made split pea soup and I am writing down this recipe. I love the colour of this soup too, very inviting Dottie.
    Soup is a tradition in my family; I feel dry and not well if I don't have soup at least twice a week but in the winter I could have it every day.
    Have a nice weekend my friend xx

    1. Hi Alida,
      Thanks for your comment. To me comfort foods are so good, like you said especially this time of the year, So happy that you like this recipe. Yes, if you can get over the "green" color you will be surprised as to the flavor and the taste. Soup is my thing also, I think most people love soup of any kind with the weather being cold, rainy, and snowy. Thanks for your visit...You, as well dear friend have a wonderful weekend with your family,
      Dottie xx

  2. What an adorable photo, Dottie. I just made a big pot of lentil soup tonight for dinner, what a coincidence that you mentioned them in your post! Your split pea soup is very much how I make it too and it is a delicious and healthy recipe. I hope your winter is mild this guys need a break! Take care and have a lovely weekend! CC

    1. Hi Christina,

      Thanks for visiting today! Yes, I love that photo of my brother Christopher and myself. He was so cute and I was 11 years old in that photo. He is my brother that past away at 36 years old. I treasure these photos.

      Yummy, lentil soup that sounds so delicious. It is that time of year that soups are big and hearty. They just seem to warm your bones after a chilly/cold day! They say that great minds think alike! Gald that you like the recipe, it was my mom's. She still makes it but at 85 it is difficult at times. We grew up on these hearty soups and they are very healthy.

      Yes, last year our winter was a bad one, but I love the winter and if it is cold I love that. But I have to think of others that have to drive in it and go to work in the cold and the snow. I remember doing that when I was younger and it is not fun. My prayers go to those in the midwest, the snow they had was horrible. Maybe our winter as you said will be milder. Thanks again, have a glorious weekend with your family.

      Dottie :)

  3. Dear Dottie, Yes, my mom made all those dishes too. These foods made you feel warm, comfortable, cozy and safe. I do love a good bowl of soup. My dads favorite food was chicken soup; though he loved all soups. This is one of my favorite soups. My mom sometimes put croûtons in spit pea soup as well.
    Keep warm and have a beautiful Sunday. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

    1. Dear Catherine, Thanks for stopping over and your comment. So glad that you liked this post about soup. I also am a lover of soup. Especially when the weather is like today, cold and windy. There is that comfort to just putting your cold hands on the side of the bowl and feeling the warmth go through your hands. I love chicken soup as well, but they are all good, my favorite is French Onion Soup. I never thought of adding the croutons, we always had a chunk of Italian bread with our soup. Something to try next time. You and your family have a fabulous and blessed weekend. Dottie :)

  4. Great one for this time of year. I shared this also.

    1. Dear Orlando, Thanks again for your comment and stopping by. I agree with you that this is a delicious soup for this time of the year...Here on Long Island, Winter is showing his face for sure. Have a great day! :)