Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SNOW-ver it!

SOOOOOO over all this snow! Those of us in the DC area are being POUNDED with another MAJOR snow storm. We had around 12-18 inches. before the holidays, a few inches on last Wednesday (schools closed), snow on Friday (sch's closed again), 22+ inches the following day (Saturday) and today we could expect another 15 inches. School was closed Mon-Wed and it's not looking good for tomorrow or Friday. And we are supposed to have President's Day off? Yeah, it's crazy down here. We are 1/2 inch away from breaking the 1889-99 winter's total snowfall record of 54 inches (and winter is NOT over yet!)

So what does one do when cooped up inside? COOK of course! I've made several things but there is something about a hot, hearty HOMEMADE soup after you've been shoveling for hours. The smell hits your nose when you walk in the door and the first spoonful going down your cold throat just makes you want to pour the whole bowl on your head you are so chilled to the bone!

One of the things I like to do after the holidays is put the HAM bone (and substantial meat on it)
in the freezer. Shortly after I make sure I grab a bag of split green peas from the grocery store and toss it in the cabinet. Tick-tock. I wait for that pivotal moment for when I need some ham
and split pea soup. Does getting over 3 feet of snow in one week seem pivotal enough? LOL

I love making soups. Why is that? Because there is no exact science to it. You add, mix and taste all along the way until it is to you/your family's liking. I don't have a problem with no soup ever being the same. Variety is the spice of life.

There is no reason for eating canned soups anymore when boiling up the carcass or bones from any leftover dinner can render such a hearty soup....

Split Pea and Ham Soup
a recipe guide by JennyMac

1 ham bone from your spiral sliced ham (keep the ham on the bone that isn't sliced on the bottom 1/3)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 lb. bag of split peas
1 Tbsp. chicken base (or more to taste)
1 whole onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bag of baby carrots, chopped or whole
1 cup of corn
1 cup of barley, uncooked

Put frozen ham bone in large pot. Cover with tap water. Add your thyme and pepper. Bring ham bone to a boil. While waiting on the bone to boil...prepare your add-ins. Chop your onion, mince garlic, chop carrots (if desired), measure corn, measure barley (or just pour from bag guessitmating one cup is ok). Be sure to rinse and check over your peas for stones. No need to soak them the night before!
When all your prep work is done. Add the chicken base, onion, garlic and peas. (The package of peas says to not add salt until done, I am thinking that it breaks the peas down in the process. No problem less blending I will have to do then!) Cook on medium heat for a moderate boil. Stirring occasionally, I am looking for the ham to fall off the bone. When this happens put meat in a small bowl to cool. Whip out that immersion blender and blend the onions and peas until smooth. Add in your barley, carrots, corn. Cut up your ham into bite sized pieces, removing any visible fat. Put back into your soup. Cook until barley is puffed into little pearls. This process took about 3 hours. But I was snowed in so what's 3 hours?

Serve with warm crusty bread


1 comment:

Sage Trifle said...

Here in the N.C. mountains, we've not had as much snow as the D.C. area, but we have had plenty. And like you, I'm tired of it! Your split pea soup sounds scrumptious and warming.