Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We are Creatures of Habit - Winter Split Pea Soup

  In my quest to make my standard winter fare (I or we, have made split pea soup almost every winter since I can't remember when-even when we were in Florida and the temperature would dip to a blustery 56 degrees, ha ha ha.), I was searching for a different recipe than the standard back of the bag recipe. I happened across this recipe for Andersen's Famous Split Pea Soup . I then found their website here: Andersen's Pea Soup Restaurant ,opened in 1924. Yes folks, that is 86 years. Read on to find out more about the history of this well known restaurant.
  The recipe was very similar to what I normally make. It is just put together a bit differently. The vegetables are added last, not during the long simmer. Simple ingredients for a very satisfying soup.

Sort and Soak

Simple ingredients

Simmer chicken stock, peas and ham. Skimming top frequently.

Saute and add the vegetables


I decided to par cook the veggies by giving them a quick saute to get them started, as I was afraid they would be too crispy - crunchy just putting them into the soup raw. I added ham hocks to this recipe as I have never had split pea soup with out them. I also had a bit of leftover ham from Christmas in the freezer and threw that in as well. (Mom cooked it so she got to keep the bone. She used it for Navy Bean and Ham Soup, a favorite of hers.) Topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some croutons for me and for Michael just a side of buttered bread for dipping, it was warming and fulfilling on a cold rainy day.


2 cups cold water
4 cups of chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 pound dried split peas (about 2-1/4 cups) picked over and rinsed as sometimes there are tiny rocks in with the peas
1 large stalk of celery, diced
1 Bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of sea salt, or to taste
3/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 medium carrot, diced
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Dash of cayenne pepper or a few red pepper flakes


Heat water, stock and peas to boiling in a large soup pot and boil for 2 minutes
Remove from heat and let stand for about 1 hour and cover. Let sit for 1 hour.
Stir in onion, celery, bay leaf, pepper and thyme and again heat to boiling; then reduce heat
Cover and simmer until peas are tender (about 40 minutes), and stir occasionally
Stir diced carrots into soup and and heat to boiling; then reduce heat and be careful NOT to burn the soup
Cover again and simmer until carrots are tender and your soup is at th desired consistency (about 30 minutes)
Stir in the cayenne pepper, garlic powder and parsley near the end of the cooking process and correct seasonings to your taste

To reheat the pea soup, thin with a little chicken (or vegetable) stock to desired consistency and ...Enjoy Again!
Michael and Carla


  1. Carla... this is a wonderful split pea soup recipe. As your title says, we are creatures of habit and when we find that certain thing that gives us comfort & nourishment ~ I say, "stick with it."

  2. I've heard so much about split pea soup and still haven't tried it ever! How sad, right? Yours looks so good! It makes me want to go buy some ham just to make this. :)

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  4. I've been to that split pea restaurant while driving through California- LOL! The soup was really, really good. Yours looks like such a pretty color.

  5. I make split pea soup often. We like it and it's easy. Your photos are great. It's hard to photography soup I think.

  6. Great soup! Perfect for winters :)

  7. That looks rich and comforting!I love split pea soup.


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