Split pea soup. It’s one of those soups that most people cringe when they think about it. They’re thinking of some green, thick, goopy mess, usually out of a can, heavily laden in sodium. It’s one of everyone’s seemingly least favorite Campbell’s soup tins.
The funny thing is that I actually love split pea soup and have fond memories of eating it growing up. We didn’t have very much canned soup growing up, though my brother and I did have a decent amount of canned vegetables and fruit (I still abhor canned peas, but I do love the sweetness and even the crunchy texture of canned corn to this day). But one thing that other people had in canned form that we occasionally had in fresh form was split pea soup. I’m not sure how my dad got into it. Maybe it was because it was an economical meal, but my dad would make us split pea soup. He’d soak the peas and simmer them in stock. He’d cut the carrots, onions, and potato and dump them into the pot. He’d also add a little chopped ham to further add protein to the soup (and… well, to get my brother interested in eating it).
So I guess I associate split pea soup with memories of eating soup as a child, eating with my brother, eating the food that my dad made. He didn’t cook a lot, but there were just a handful of things he would tinker with, and this was one of them. I don’t recall a lot of variation, but I do recall always enjoying it.
So, I made it today with my homemade chicken stock, an onion, and three cups of soaked split peas. I had no ham, carrots, or even potatoes. This was really poor man’s split pea soup. But I added some red pepper flakes, urfa pepper, and sumac along with the usual garlic, oregano, and thyme. And I enjoyed every bit of it.