Pea Soup…..sounds exciting right? WRONG. It isn’t exciting at all. It’s just way too cold up here in the Northeast to do anything except cook or curl up with a good book or watch Netflix with a glass of wine. Since my three girls are running around screaming [which is synonomous with playing in this house] and monopolizing the family room- cooking it is for me.
But what to make??? OH! That’s right- yesterday my mom stoped by and dropped off her leftover Christmas Eve ham. My go-to with leftovers is typically an omelet, casserole, or soup, but I’ve settled with split pea & ham soup as well as ham & cheddar biscuits. After all, there really is a lot of ham left.
Ok back to the soup. I’ve never made pea soup. My mother-in-law is the one who makes an amazing, thick, delicious soup. But it’s ok, “I got this”, I told myself. I looked at a quick recipe from one of my old reliable cookbooks and was off. I began by simmering the ham bone and 4 bay leaves for about 3 hours . The smell was actually quite good, despite it’s fatty salty appearance. At about 2 1/2 hours I cut up 2 onions, 2 large carrots, 3 ribs of celery, and sauteed them in olive oil till softened. Next, I added 2 cloves chopped garlic & 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. I cooked everything until it was a nice golden brown and smelled delicious. At the 3 hour mark I added a 32 oz bag of frozen peas to the broth, along with a couple teaspoons of dried thyme & freshly cracked black pepper. Once the peas had boiled for about 45 min I added the veggie mixture & 3 cubed yellow potatoes. The soup simmered for another hour before I pulled out my trusty immersion blender to try and thicken it up. I blended pretty well, yet the soup still was very thin. Chris, my hubby, suggested letting it sit overnight, as “everything tastes better the next day” anyway.
So, I waited. The next morning I came downstairs, took off the lid of the soup pot….and nope, still too thin. “Shit” I thought to myself. Now any other person would probably think I’m crazy for being disappointed just because the soup was a little on the thin side. It tasted great, smelled great, but to me it was a recipe gone wrong. Fast forward to that afternoon. I bought another bag of peas, simmered them (separately) then added them to the soup and pulled out the ol’ immersion blender again. Better but not perfect. The taste had changed a little. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just more “pea-ish” lol (See I can’t make soup yet I can create new words LIKE A BOSS).
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably bored and wondering why I wasted multiple paragraphs discussing my pea soup. However, I’ve shared this experience because sometimes in life we need to be ok with not being perfect. For me personally, it’s something I’m working on. I KNOW inside that no one can be the “perfect wife” or “perfect mother”, and yet I create crazy high expectations for myself in all areas of life. I guess sometimes we just have to be ok with making crappy, thin pea soup.
Boiling the stock: