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Pease Porridge Hot

Is there anything so comforting as a kettle full of pea soup? With its mild blend of flavors, pea soup tops my list of all-time favorites. Months like March and April often enjoy warm weather by day and bitter cold by night (at least in this part of the world), so soups and stews are a lovely item to have on the menu. When warm weather arrives, I find that I am unable (Or is it unwilling?) to plan my meals ahead of time. I am driven to distraction by sunshine and short-sleeves. Pea soup does not require soaking or my full attention which makes it the perfect dish for days like today in which I washed windows like a madwoman and completely forgot that Josh would be home for dinner tonight.

Perhaps the greatest joy of soup is the spontaneity involved… that bit of whimsy that has us throwing bits of this and that into a bubbling fragrant kettle of goodies. Soups are an inexact science and perhaps one of the most revealing foods in that they are a direct reflection of their maker’s creativity.

Here is my pea soup recipe:

  • 2 ¼ cups yellow of green split peas
  • 6 cups organic chicken stock (preferably homemade but canned is fine)
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery (the entire stalk with the leaves)
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, made into a paste
  • 2 carrots (medium sized), sliced
  • 1 medium red potato, unpeeled and diced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 1 Tbsp (or more) dry mustard
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Get out a large cast iron kettle and pour 3 Tbsp of olive oil in the bottom. Coat chicken with Dijon mustard (may need more) and cook until nearly done. Sprinkle with sage and paprika. Remove from kettle and dice.

Split peas — rinsed and sorted

Use a colander to rinse and sort the peas, then add to the kettle.

Basic Ingredients for Split Pea Soup

Add the remaining oil, chicken stock, clove, onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and potato to the kettle and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 2-3 hours. Stir infrequently to keep from sticking.

Split Pea Soup simmering

Soup will thicken — peas and vegetables should be soft and easily mashed with a spoon. Puree if desired. Add chicken, dry mustard, and Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rye or flat bread. NOTE: the picture above is NOT of the finished product. If your soup looks like that after a few hours — then you didn’t have the heat up enough (or the planets weren’t aligned for proper soup making). Keep simmering and stirring occasionally. The peas should all melt down. Yum.

Makes about 8 bowls.

  • shelli - Hi Lacy,

    Funny about this recipe, I was in the grocery store last week and saw some split peas and though I had never made anything with split peas, I picked them up. Then I figured out I had no idea of the best way to make them…Thanks for the recipe. Since it has meat in it, my husband will be more inclined to eat it. He hates peas.

    I can’t wait until it’s garden time here. We are still about 6 weeks away from really getting to spend time outside. I am going to get on the ball in the next couple of weeks and start some seeds.

    Speaking of organic gardening, do you know of an organic pre-emergent? My yard and garden are so full of weeds that I have to do something drastic this year, my garden was so neglected last year.

    I’m not adventuresome enough to try a guinea fowl. No strange meats for me. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • lacyrazor - Hi Shelli!

    I’m so glad that you plan on trying the split pea soup! You must tell me if you like it!

    Corn Gluten Powder is an amazing organic weed killer. It is environmentaly friendly and kid/pet-safe so you don’t have to worry! It works like a dream (as good as or better than the harsh chemical pre-emergents) but it is not the same thing as corn meal. Ask at your local Lowe’s. Here in Georgia, corn gluten powder is sold by several companies: Safe Lawn, Organic WEEDZSTOP, and Supersoil Garden Guardian Mulch (not organic but the next best thing). Remember that you can’t use any pre-emergent on freshly sown grass.

    Another tip for lawn care: call around to your local farm/feed stores and price 50 Lb feed bags of corn meal — this works well in promoting the growth of a beneficial fungus known as Trichoderma. Apply 15 Lbs for every 1,000 sq. feet if your yard doesn’t perk up by summer.

    Grubs, fleas, chiggers, and fire ants can be fought by using a parasite (harmful only to them) called beneficial nematodes. Google searches for beneficial nematodes will help you find them in your area. Universities usually have them.

    Want a weed killing spray like Round-Up? Mix a gallon of vinegar with one tbsp of liquid dish detergent and two tbsp of molasses. Spray directly onto the offending plant (careful not to spray your lawn or flowers).

    If you ever visit us — I promise to serve chicken!! 🙂

    Hope this helps!



  • Christy - I agree with everybody else: awesome story.! Much food for thought… It really made my day. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Juju - I am so excited to find this recipe! All of the recipes I have found call for ham, bacon, or sausage and we don’t eat pork. Can’t wait to try this when the weather cools down a bit. Thanks!ReplyCancel

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