Most of what I’ve been getting in my CSA box lately is typical fall and winter veggies, like potatoes and onions and garlic and turnips. And I have some carrots in the fridge from last week’s farmers market, and also some parnsips that I got for another recipe. I also have a huge pantry of food to go through, so I’ve been trying to use everything I have at home already, without going out to buy anything but perishables (including produce) when necessary. I found some Amish cottage ham giant mild franks in the freezer, and had a bag of split peas, so decided that pea soup was in order. I looked at a few recipes, but what I ended up making is entirely different than any recipe I’ve seen because in the end, I pretty much winged it. Surprisingly, it turned out to be the best pea soup I’ve ever had in my life, even better than Oma’s (and that’s a feat unto itself). Unlike most other times when I wing it, this time I wrote everything down.
Smoked Split Pea Soup
1 (20 oz.) bag split peas (the kind that has the ham seasoning packet)
4 oz. double smoked bacon, diced
6 oz. cottage (or other smoked) ham, diced
1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 turnip, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 medium potatoes, diced
12 cups water
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. frankfurters (optional)
Melt 4 tbsp. butter in dutch oven or soup pot, and then add bacon, ham, onions, onion, carrot, parsnip and turnip and saute until slightly softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add 12 cups water, peas, ham seasoning packet, salt and pepper. Cover, heat to boiling and boil rapidly for 30 minutes. Add potatoes and frankfurters (if desired), reduce heat, and simmer 40-45 minutes until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and Maggi.