Split Pea Stew

A hearty Split Pea Stew to get you through February, because everyone needs a warm and filling stew in the middle of winter, amiright? I took a basic soup recipe, added a fair amount of vegetables to it and made a hearty thick stew out of it, and a blog post too.

Nothing beats a hot bowl of, well just about anything, when the temperature hits 5 degrees on a good day, in full sun. February, you temptress, you! I see how you’re playing us, the days are magically ‘longer’ now and yet still as cold as January. And December. And November. And most of October. But there’s a promise in the light of February, the promise of 28 days, the promise of chocolate half way through this short tiny little month. Is that like bait or something? Like, if you can just get through 14 more days then you can have chocolate! And that sugar high will blast you right on through to Spring. 

And Spring well, does anything get better than spring? Until then make Split Pea Stew and appease the needs of true deep winter: hot bowls of food, plenty of hot drinks and good books read snuggling in bed.

Split Pea Stew

1 pound of green split peas

4 quarts of water–more as needed

4 ounces smoked ham

1 large onion

3 large potatoes, about palm sized

3 large carrots

2 large parsnips

1 TBSP oil

1-2 teaspoons of Italian Seasonings

salt and pepper to taste

bring the peas and water to a boil in a large dutch oven, 6-8 quarts

reduce the heat to bring the peas to a simmer, cook the peas about 1 1/2 – 2 hours

mince the ham, add it to the peas add more water at this time if needed to keep it from getting to thick and scorching, continue simmering

clean and chop the vegetables, set aside

heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat

add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, don’t let it scorch just cook it, reduce heat if you need to

then add the rest of the chopped vegetables, cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes or so

add the vegetables to the soup

return the skillet to the burner, add 3/4 cup of water to deglaze the pan, scrape up all those crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan, add them to your soup pot

add the Italian seasonings 

taste for salt and pepper, add as much as needed, that may be several teaspoons of salt but also remember you can add a little more when the soup is cooked through too

cook for another half an hour or so until the vegetables and peas are cooked through adding more water as needed to keep it from getting too thick 

serve with a wedge of crusty bed and a delicious good book

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