Split Pea Soup

    One of my fondest childhood memories is of my mother, Maybelle, making Split Pea Soup. We loved it then and we love it now. Back in the 40s and 50s, whenever we traveled south we’d just have to stop at Anderson’s for some Pea Soup (Just like whenever we visited San Francisco she’d have to stop at the Milk Farm for some fresh buttermilk.). Mom said she got the recipe she used  from the owner’s wife, a nice lady who had just had a baby.

    Recipes for Split Pea Soup are all just about the same. There will be one on the package of split peas. They are all over the computer.

    Here's Mom's recipe.  It also was a favorite token of sympathy to a sick friend.

    12 oz.       split peas  
    6 cups       water
    2               celery stalks, chopped
    2              carrots, grated
    1 small       chopped onion
    1                bay leaf
       Salt and pepper

    Add boiling water to split peas.  Then add onion, salt and pepper, bay leaf, celery and carrots.  Simmer for an hour or more, until peas are tender.  Can be mashed or seived.  Serve with a dash of paprika on top.
    I'll add a little thyme from time to time and usually cook kthe soup with two large or three small smoked ham hocks. I remove the ham hocks take all the remaining meat off of them, dice it very small and then add the ham meat back to the soup.

      Nephew, Bob, says he uses just about the same as Mom's (Bob's Grandma) and offers the following....
Since split peas come now in 16 oz bags I have adjusted the recipe as follows:

16 OZ split peas
8 Cups of Water
1 Med chopped onion
Salt and pepper (1/2 tsp of pepper, may sub salt with 1/2 tsp garlic salt)
2 TBS Chicken Bouillon
1 FRESH bay leaf
3 Celery Stalks chopped
3 Carrots (chopped thin)

   I  (Bob) then follow the rest of the recipe. Once cooked, I use the motor boat to blend everything together in a nice smooth puree.

My favorite variation is to not use the chicken bouillon... But instead use a Hambone! Adds a few more calories... But we all know what Emril says about pork fat! Of course, I remove the hambone before pureeing with the motor boat.

This has become a Christmas Day tradition. Grandma Belles Split Pea Soup!