About a month ago, I was telling a friend about my food-related to-do list when we got on the subject of split pea soup, something that had been on my list for a while. She began extolling the virtues of this soup and how she had just tried a new recipe, so I decided that I finally had to give it a try. To my disappointment, as I scoured the shelves at Wegmans later, I found that their split peas are processed with peanuts and tree nuts (as well as milk, soy, and wheat) – which I don’t understand, because they should simply be peas and only peas. I relayed my disappointment on Twitter, where I was surprised that someone from Wegmans actually responded to me, assuring me that their split peas are just split peas except for the chance of cross contamination. I assured them that the allergen warning is exactly what makes them not just split peas, otherwise I’d be able to eat them and there would be no problem. All that said, they were at least able to point me in the direction of a company more conscious of allergens: Goya (I say more conscious because Goya’s split peas still contain soy and wheat. I’m still looking for some that are allergen-free). Despite the split pea fiasco though, this soup was incredibly easy – a few minutes to prep all of the ingredients, and then into the pot they go. It’s a new favorite of mine, especially now that cooler weather is here, and you can easily leave out the meat if you want to make this a vegetarian dish. Enjoy!
- 2 sweet potatoes or 1/2 butternut squash
- 1/2 large onion
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 cups ham or thick-cut bacon, cooked and cut into 1″ pieces
- 6 cups water
- 1 can (15 oz) vegetable broth
- 16 ounces dried split peas
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cube the potatoes or butternut squash, and then slice up the onion, carrots, and celery. Wash and drain the split peas.
In a Dutch oven, combine all of the ingredients.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Let simmer for about an hour or until the peas and vegetables become tender.
If you prefer a smoother soup, purée the soup with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. If you prefer a heartier soup, leave it as is. Serve warm and use or freeze the soup within five days. Makes about 3 quarts.