Let’s be honest, posting appetizing photos of split pea soup is the Great Barrier Reef of food blogging. The big question is “how am I going to navigate my way through a photo shoot and make this soup look awesome enough for people to want eat and not make them want to hurl?”
Green is a great color for salads or for adding a finishing touch to many dishes. A judicious use of green in such dishes such as Pozole Rojo; Red Pepper Pesto Over Angel Hair Pasta; Lentil, Quinoa, and Orzo Salad; Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Linguini; or Cheese Enchiladas makes the photographic presentation rock. But, somehow the green of Split Pea Soup doesn’t work very well. Split pea green looks beautiful as an accent color in decorating, like with a throw pillow or even as a paint color. However, you don’t generally hear someone say, “Wow! That reminds me of split pea soup! I’m gonna make some for dinner tonight!”. Nope. It just doesn’t happen.
Love, though, can give a food blogger boundless courage in certain posts. As I mentioned in my post on 1/2 & 1/2 Whole Wheat French Bread, my husband, John, has been feeling nostalgic lately about the five years he spent in Sweden. His family had a cook who used to make split pea soup from time to time and John loved it. While it is intimidating to come up with a recipe to compete with someone’s memory of a favored food, I took this particular as a welcome challenge. Pea soup was one of my childhood favorites…the stuff from the can, dearies. My mom was a big fan of Campbell’s and when my dad was out of town, we ate a lot of canned soup.
The great thing about split peas is that unlike many members of the legume family, peas do not require pre-soaking. Simply toss them in a pot with sufficient water or broth, toss in a few other standard kitchen ingredients, bring everything to a low boil and dinner is ready in under an hour. Life is good!
This soup was wonderfully delicious. John and I kept returning to the soup pot to refill our bowls. Ham hocks brought a favorite smoky flavor, while the peas, vegetable broth and carrots brought unexpected sweetness. The onions and garlic along with the sage and bay leaves added lots of depth. The soup, together with the crusty Whole Wheat French Bread was a great late winter meal.
You want to know what is great about late Winter? It means that early Spring is just around the corner.