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Sunday Food: Sick as The Poop

Pea Soup

(Picture courtesy of M.M.Cassidy at

If you never used that saying instead of ‘Thick as Pea Soup’, you’ve never had a childhood.   Or maybe yours was not so full of silliness as mine was.

This past week was really chilly, which is my idea of time to put on the pot of pea soup.   It’s a favorite dish of mine, and really warms the house and the soul at the same time.   Some people are thick with chicken soup, but I am a budding vegetarian when it comes to soup.

The way I make it is to chop a large potato, a large carrot, a stalk of celery, a medium onion, a few cloves of garlic, all while browning sausage in my pot, in bacon drippings or oil.    Then I pour off the fat, and put in the chopped veggies to brown, add whatever spice appeals to me which this time was fresh coriander and scallions, just a few minutes, put in a package of split peas (one pound) and a quart of water, about half a heaping teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder, and stir all to mix, then start simmering slowly and adding water as it cooks, to make it my own very thick consistency.

Here’s a real recipe for anyone who really doesn’t feel comfortable with this ‘by look’ variety of soup making.


  • 8   cups water
  • 3  14  ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1   pound cooked boneless ham, chopped
  • 4 1/2  cups dry split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 3   bay leaves
  • 1/4  teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2  cups chopped carrots (3 medium)
  • 1 1/2  cups chopped celery (3 medium)
  • 1 1/2  cups chopped onion (3 medium)
  •  Salt and ground black pepper
  • directions
    In a 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven combine water, broth, ham, split peas, bay leaves, marjoram, and pepper. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover; stir in carrots, celery, and onions. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove bay leaves; discard. Stir to combine (mixture may appear separated). Serve immediately or cool for 30 minutes.

When you simmer this slowly, of course, you’re also making the room or a whole small house warm at the same time, always a good thing to do.   I like mine hotter than most people do, so when it’s gotten thoroughly liquified, about two hours, I am ready to have my very warming brew right out of the pot.

Grated cheddar cheese, or a dollop of sour cream, and crackers of any sort, make this into another more filling sort of meal, also.   In the picture you can see some one put a lot of pepper on top, not my taste with pea soup but it could enhance yours.

Enjoy in good health.

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.