Split Pea Soup

Not everybody likes split pea soup. Not Dad, not Mike, and probably more. Mom, friends, and I think it’s delicious. Now that Autumn has started, I’ve brought out the slow cooker to kick-off this season’s culinary adventure. UPDATE: Mom made this for dad, and now he likes split pea soup.

Split Pea Soup
1 package (16 ounces = 1 pound) dried split peas
1 cup diced fully cooked lean ham
1 cup diced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock + 1 cup water heated (10 minutes in microwave)
(Ingredient 10) 1 cup hot milk

Layer the first 9 ingredients in a 5-6 quart slow cooker in the order listed. Do not stir. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard the bay laves. Whisk in the milk and let it cook a few minutes more before serving. Season with more salt and pepper.

I prefer the green peas over the yellow kind, however, I have not made this with the yellow ones. Maybe they’re better?

I’d prefer ham out of a pig to that out of a can, but I have to work with what we have. Costco used to have a very acceptable 12.5 ounce can of diced ham, but I didn’t see it last time I was there.


Mom’s French Onion Soup

Mom’s French Onion Soup
From the kitchen of Mom

8 Onions, medium, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 + 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1 Bay leaf
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons A-1 Steak sauce
2 quarts Beef stock
1/2 cup White wine, dry
Toasted French bread
Swiss cheese, sliced

Sauté onion in butter and olive oil until tender. Add pepper, salt, sugar, and spices, let simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock, let heat through. Add wine, bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Fill bowl, top with bread and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.

My college roommate Heidi gave me a set of ceramic French Onion Soup crocks.  I still use them.

Makes four servings.


Mom’s Potato Soup

Potato Soup
From the kitchen of Mom

5-6 Potatoes, diced
2/3 cup Onions, chopped
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 pound Bacon, fried and chopped (may use half or none)
1 cup Water
1 clove Garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper (or much more)
4 cups Milk
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped

Add onion, potatoes, melted butter and water to pot. Season with garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook slowly until potatoes are medium soft. Add milk. Continue to cook until soup comes to a boil. Add parsley, adjust seasoning and heat through before serving. Sprinkle bacon on top before serving. May be halved

I never saw mom do this, but I sometimes add a cup or more of instant mashed potatoes after boiling the milk, makes for much thicker soup.  Oh how I love bacon, I would never make it without it.