1 pound split peas, dried
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-6 carrots, sliced
2-3 stalks celery and/or tops, chopped
1 bay leaf
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp thyme
8-10 cups water
1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste), I prefer Adobo seasoned salt
2 cups chicken stock (or may use water with ham bouillon/flavoring)
a turkey carcass
a ham bone
1/4 pound bacon, fried and crumbled for garnish or real bacon bits
12 oz can evaporated milk or 1- 1/2 cup milk
Put all ingredients in a soup kettle or 5 quart slow cooker (leave 1- 1 1/2 inches for boiling room). Simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 hours. Or cook in slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. About 1/2 hour before serving, remove meat and bones, and put blend soup (handheld stick blender works the best). Return meat to soup. May add some milk, if desired and garnish with bacon bits. Serve with cornbread or other types of bread. Makes approximately 10-12 cups.
Curried Pea Soup- For a different flavor and consistency, cut all vegetables into small dice, use 8 cups chicken broth. Substitute 1 tsp or more of curry powder and black pepper to taste
Vegetarian Pea Soup- Omit meat, stock or bones. For a complete protein, add 1 cup barley or other grain, or serve with whole grain bread. If you wish, add 6 oz. grated cheese (Gruyere, Swiss, jack or Cheddar) before serving.
*Recipe adapted from Nadine Bowlus, Jean Baker White, Donna Moore and Stacy Laputz- from Whole Foods For the Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook 1981.