It has been cold in Oregon. So cold it’s all any one talks about. So cold that my mother-in-law drove me to the store at 10 p.m. last weekend to buy us gloves (thanks MIL!). So cold that our bathroom floor is absolute icicles on my bare feet in the wee hours and I nothing short of dread climbing out of our warm bed to make a day of it. So cold that all I want to do is wear two pairs of wool socks and eat my favorite split pea soup.
Two years ago, about this time, I was just a short way into culinary school and one of the first sections we did was soup. My group was assigned split pea, much to my chagrin, as I had never come close to touching the baby-poo-esque dish before. I had sworn to myself that I wouldn’t waste this once in a lifetime chance of being in school and would try new things, so I dove in full force to that darned split pea. And wouldn’t you know, I loved that green mushy junk.
I still make the same basic recipe from school, with a few delicious additions; bacon lardons and country bread croutons are a must. And don’t forget my secret ingredient- a hefty tablespoon of cumin. Cumin was made for split pea soup. Warmth straight to the soul.
The bacon and ham are from a local source, Carlton Farms and the bread I used also came from a bakery in Carlton. There are so many rad people out in this beautiful wine country trying to do things they really care about. It makes my day when I get to be even a tiny part of it by buying their goods. I hope this soup warms your insides this week as we continue to bear the chill without even a single snowflake as a reward. Here’s to baby poo soup!
- 1/2 cup bacon lardons
- olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- 3 cups split peas
- 32 oz veg stock
- 32 oz chicken stock
- (can do all veggie or all chicken- I just like the depth of flavor with both)
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 cup diced ham
- country bread, made into croutons
- Render bacon with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Cook onion, garlic, carrots and celery in bacon fat (with lardons) on medium heat until onions are slightly translucent. Season with s&p and add cumin.
- Add split peas and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to low. Simmer until split peas are tender and falling apart (20-30 mins).
- Add ham and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes and serve, topping with croutons.