Technically it’s spring, but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. I went to work on Friday with a spring jacket on, and leather loafers on my feet; I walked home in a snow storm, shoes squelching soggily all the way. Luckily, I had some delicious pea soup in the fridge that I had made a few days ago, and that warmed me right up!
Pea soup is one of the few foods that actually gets better with age. There’s an old children’s song that goes “bean porridge hot, bean porridge cold, bean porridge in the pot, nine days old! I like it hot, I like it cold, I like it in the pot, nine days old!” This soup will likely not last for nine days in your fridge, but if it did, it would probably taste even better than the day you made it!
Why does it taste better the next day? I think it gives the peas have a chance to absorb more flavours and liquid, and the flavours themselves have a chance to spread and meld better. The soup definitely thickens up a bit after day one. In fact, I recommend making it the day before you want to eat it. It really is better the next day!
This soup is perfect to make and keep in the freezer for days when all you want is a steaming bowl of soup to warm you up. Plus, it’s super-nutritious and high in protein. And did I mention that it’s super-easy to make? The hardest part is stirring the soup, no joke.
I got this recipe from my mom, and adapted to what I had in the house. Now, let’s make some soup!
Hearty Pea Soup with Ham
- 1 3/4 c. dried peas (I used green peas, but my mom recommends a mixture of green, yellow, & orange)
- 1/2 c. chopped celery (I didn’t have any fresh celery, so I used some dehydrated celery that I had in my pantry)
- 1/2 c. carrots, sliced (I didn’t have those, so…I left them out. But I recommend adding them!)
- 1/2 c. chopped onion
- 1/4 c. chopped parsley (fresh is best, but you could probably get away with dried)
- 1 potato, cut into chunks
- 1/2 c. leftover ham, bacon, or sausage, chopped into small pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- pepper to taste
Boil 8 cups of water in a large soup pot. Add all ingredients except for meat. Simmer on low heat for about 3 hours, stirring regularly. Be sure to stir regularly, as the soup thickens quickly and will burn easily. So stir, baby, stir! Once soup is done, stir in meat, and add pepper to taste.
I left the ham out of my portion of the soup, being a vegetarian and all, but from my meat-eating days, I remember how deliciously flavoured the soup became once some ham was added. If you have some sausage lying around, you could add that in too. In other words, feel free to substitute!
My mom recommends ‘rookworst’, which is a type of smoked sausage, but when I made the soup this time, I added in some bacon I had picked up from a local butcher. This made the DH (a confirmed meat-a-tarian) very happy! Ah, the things I do for love!
If you make this soup, let me know in the comments what type of meat you used (or if you even used meat). Let’s inspire each other!
Next Post: Easter approaches, and I’ve been craving some hot cross buns. So maybe those! Or maybe a recipe for homemade healthy meal replacement bars. Any preferences?