I know split pea soup is old hat for most of you, but this is for a beloved friend who wanted my direction
2 boxes aseptic pkg chicken or vegetable broth OR
Any kind bouillon dissolved to make 8 cups*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tomato (or more and this is optional)
5 stalks of celery
Spices to taste I use:
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seed
Salt to taste
Cook on medium to low heat ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t let heat get up too high. Add all spices but the salt. When celery and onions are soft (about 5 minutes longer), add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. I also added some shredded carrots which I had on hand. Maybe a half a cup. Carrots are also optional.
Add 4 cups of whatever broth you chose. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cook 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not keep the heat on too high.
Check the soup from time to time during cooking. Add more liquid as needed. The amount of liquid needed varies according to the crop of beans and how long they’ve been on the shelf. If the mixture becomes extremely thick, add more water. The mixture starts out watery and gets thicker. If it gets sludgy looking, you need more water. Remember you can always add more water, but it is hard to take it out when you add too much.
You can boost up the nutrition by adding a cup and a half of frozen corn or frozen mixed vegetables. Or not. Whatever you want. Pea soup is extremely forgiving. I like to serve it with cornbread baked in a round cake pan. Fresh grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese are both tasty on top of split pea soup. A salad is a nice side dish. Then you have dinner.
*Now, as you know, I enjoy channeling my inner Martha Stuart. I make my own broth. I will explain that process below. You may use any type of broth you like.
If you do not have a dog or a neighbor’s dog who jumps your fence all the time, you may discard this leftover stuff with my blessings. Here's what it looks like when it is all finished.