Rainy Day Dinner

Rainy Day Dinner

What’s more comforting than cup of hot cocoa on a snowy day? Split pea soup on a rainy one. Too cold and wet to go out and garden, The kids are inside full of energy. This is Spring Break in Northern California! Not fair! I decided since we didn’t have Easter dinner on Easter that we would have it the day after. As a result, today I have some delicious ingredients to make some soothing comfort food. I used two pounds of dry split peas. Yes, two pounds! I love my split pea soup! We have tons of leftover ham which I will use lots of cuz I like my soup chunky! I found some frozen organic carrots that I froze a couple of months ago to throw in and ham juice and spices. Ham juice? Oh yes. Ham juice. Lots of people make gravy out of their ham juice in the bottom of the roasting pan but not me. Nope. I make crappy gravy and save that liquid gold for soups! Ham juice is a wonderful season for soups; any soup!

Here is what I did: Prep the peas as usual rinsing and checking for field debris which I never, ever find so I don’t really know why I still do that, dumped em in the pan and covered em with water until they were covered then brought em to a boil.

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I then shut off the stove and waited a bit. I think no matter what dry bean you use it is always a good thing to do to get the cooking started.

Normally I would add 10-12 cups of water at this point but I subtracted 2 cups for ham juice (most hams I cook yield much more drippings than that. This ham wasn’t very generous) and it looked like there might have still been about 2 cups of water in the peas so I added just 8 cups of water, bay leaves, dehydrated onions that I dehydrated myself, celery salt, Himalayan salt, carrots and onion powder (not pictured) into the pot. If you use ham juice, refrigerate it and then skim the hardened fat off the top. Yuck. You don’t want that going into your body 🙂

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I almost never measure in my kitchen. I am an eyeballer cook. I season to taste not to recipe. So, I recommend 3 or 4 bay leaves, half a handful of dehydrated onions, two carrots or more if you like em, a tablespoon or so of onion powder or more if you want, easy on the celery salt. It can get a little powerful quickly, maybe start with a tablespoon. You can use the Himalayan salt like regular salt and just add enough to enhance the flavors. Stir it all up and throw the lid on and wait for it to boil on medium heat. Turn it to low and walk away.

Let it cook about three hours then cut up the ham and toss it in and wait another hour to check for doneness and flavor. If it gets too thick, add water or chicken broth. The peas should be tender and squish under your tongue when it is done. Adjust the seasons to the taste you like.

This can be made ahead of time and then frozen in quart bags for a quick dinner later. Just take it out of the freezer in the morning and I am a counter defroster. I won’t recommend that you do that cuz someone might get mad at me but I do and it is usually thawed by dinner then just pop in the microwave and dump it in your bowl. It may need a little water but otherwise dinner is done.

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Forgive me for the lack of color in this pic. It was a rainy day so I had very little light. But it sure was yummy!!

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