Awhile back I had asked my mom for her/dad's/nana's pea soup recipe. We always ate home-made pea soup growing up, especially after ham holidays... a ham bone makes the soup so good! I think the best part of this recipe is when mom says "It's not rocket science, just get it to taste good. :) " awesome. Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I don't thicken it like Nana used to, but it is super tasty if you do :)
1 pound of dried split green peas
1 medium onion chopped
1 carrot peeled & chopped
1 potato peeled & chopped
2 quarts water
bullion cubes (optional)
salt & pepper
2-3 tablespoons butter (optional)
2-3 tablespoons flour (optional)
Pick over and rinse peas. Place in large stock pot. Add water and heat to a low boil. Skim off any stuff that comes to the top. (Do not soak peas overnight.)
Add veggies and season with salt & pepper. You can add a few bullion cubes to give it more flavor if you want to. Return to boil, lower heat and cover. Simmer for at least an hour to 90 minutes. If you put the cover on tightly, this has a tendency to boil over. Leave it partly uncovered, or use a larger pot.
You can taste and adjust the seasonings. At that point, you can do a few different things. You can just eat it that way, a bit chunky. If you have a hand held emersion blender, you can blend it right in the pot. If not you can pour it through a sieve, and then smash and push the veggies through the sieve. This is easier to do if you cook it a bit longer to get them softer. That's the way that Nana always did it.
Now here comes the less healthy addition. Nana always thickened it. After putting it through the sieve, she would return it to the pot. In a small frying pan, she would melt the butter and brown it lightly. Then add the flour, stirring it constantly until it had a nice color. She's add some soup to this butter mixture and keep stirring until it was smooth. Then add it all to the soup. It gives it a nice flavor. I haven't done this in years.
A ham bone will give it a lot of flavor. You can use it one of two ways. You can just put the bone in when you add the veggies and let it cook with the soup. At the end, you remove the bone before you blend the soup. You probably have to scrape a lot of the veggies off of the bone. You can chop up whatever meat may come off the bone and add it back into the soup. Or you can simmer the bone in just the water for a couple of hours. Then either make the soup at that point (you don't need the bullion cubes, and probably very little salt). Or you can refrigerate or freeze the water to use when you do make the soup.
NOTE: This is all approximate. If it seems too thick, you can just add more water. You can add more or less of the veggies depending on what you have on hand. Some people put a little garlic in it. You can use chicken stock instead of water. It's not rocket science, just get it to taste good. :)