I've been eating a lot of soup in the past few months, not just because it's been colder and soup is an autumnal/winter food, but one gets a lot of soup when sick or there are just a few things one can tolerate. I've had chicken stock, chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable soup, beef stew, many variations on chicken noodle soup, potato soup, broccoli-cheese bisque, vegetarian chili, tomato soup, etc. I would say that chicken and dumplings is soupy/soupish/soupesque too. (Oh, those are fun words: "soupy" and "soupish" and "soupesque!") I had this wonderful beef-barley soup when I was in the hospital--something I had never had. Barley is mighty tasty. I also had some chicken and rice soup and some cream of tomato soup in the hospital; the chicken and rice soup was passable, but the cream of tomato soup had no spices, and I have been accustomed to tomato-BASIL soup. (Progresso is the BEST.)
I love trying new foods (hence why I have Menu Monday to showcase new recipes I have tried :). But I am also picky. I usually am not willing to try any food--only those that fit within my palate and repertoire of recipes. When I am sick and begin to recover, I am absolutely inspired to try things I normally wouldn't. When I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2003, I remember trying sautéed mushrooms at Arkansas Children's cafeteria because I had never liked mushrooms before (along with peas and green beans--but suddenly I liked those, so I thought, "Why the heck not?!")
I don't like sautéed mushrooms...or mushrooms of any kind, though I will try stuffed ones every time I have a chance because I always think my opinion will change. And I LOVE cream of mushroom soup.
So as I was planning out what meals to make, I came across a recipe for SPLIT PEA SOUP and thought, "Hmmm...that sounds good." Never in my life would I have thought SPLIT PEA SOUP to be good. (I also craved meatloaf when I was in the hospital. I do like to have meatloaf every now and then, but is it not sooo weird to crave it?!) I will eat English peas now and somewhat enjoy them, but they aren't my favorite, and I doubt they will be my first choice for vegetables for a long time. (I won't say "never.") Of course, split peas are a whole other ballgame...a ballgame to which I have never attended.
But the soup has some of my favorite things--carrots, celery, onion, HAM--so I thought, "Why the heck not?!"
It is mighty tasty...AND inspired by Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage!
SPLIT PEA SOUP
-Rinse and drain two cups of dried split peas. Soak in six cups of water overnight. Rinse and drain.
-Chop up a 1/3 of a white onion, two peeled carrots, and one stalk of celery.
-Add peas, onion, carrots, and celery to a Crock Pot along with some cooked ham or a ham hock.
-Add a bay leaf, six or so peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
I served the soup with a baked potato sprinkled with McClard's seasoning--so good.
See what I did there? ;)