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Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's cold out there ... better put the soup on!

I remember being greeted at my aunt's house on cold winter days with a warm bowl of soup. A hearty soup, warm whole wheat roll, salad with fresh greens and juicy piece of fruit can be all it takes to make a meal on a day when the temperature dips and the snow crunches under your feet.

Split Pea with Ham is one I remember best:
2 cups dried split peas are soaked overnight in 6 cups of cold water. Then drain and put in a soup kettle with a meaty ham bone, 1/4 pound of salt pork that's been cut in 1/2" pieces plus 10 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, then add 1 cup of diced onions, 1 cup celery leaves & stalks, chopped. Simmer about one more hour (adding another cup of water if the soup dries out too much). Remove ham from bone and dice. If desired, remove the salt pork. Put the soup through a strainer. Blend with ham or add ham back into soup after blending. I prefer to keep some of the pea soup as is and only mash a portion to keep some texture. If the soup is not as thick as you'd like you can always add about 1/2 cup of light cream. It's enough to serve 4 to 6 hungry souls who've just ventured in from the cold outdoors!

Make some memories... serve a warm, homemade soup today!

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