But not THIS soup. THIS soup is made because the taste of it pervades me dreams and ONLY for that reason. It is not a "use this up, toss this in" sort of soup-but one that you make solely to smell it cooking away in its' crockpot for hours at a time- or to feel it's hearty thickness warm your innards on a cool day. This is, plain and simple, my own kind of comfort food.
You know what else I love about this particular soup?
1) It's cheap. Like feeds a family of 6 for under $4.00 kind of cheap!
2) It's a cupboard stocker. Being made with dry split peas means that you can have the ingredients in your cupboard and they can stay there for a LONG time, just WAITING to bail you out on that week when grocery money is non-existent or...catastrophic world events take place...or the internet crashes and the whole world goes insane...or the snowstorm of 2009 leaves you holed in your bear cave until 2011. That sort of thing.
* 16 ounces dried split peas
* 2 cups sliced sausage/kielbasa
* 1 1/2 diced carrots
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 5 cups chicken stock (made simply with boiling water and chicken bouillion)
* 1 cup hot milk
In your crockpot, layer the first nine ingredients in order listed (do not stir). Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Before serving, pour in hot milk, stir. Sniff. Smell. Salivate. Then go fishing for bay leaves~ discard when found. (The bay leaves, not the soup!) THEN- discard the soup. RIGHT down your throat.
Lots of pea soups are made with ham and I *like* it that way, but I tend to go the whole sausage/kielbasa route for one simple reason. That is how Mom made it. That is how I grew up with it-and so, call me partial, but that is it for me. If your mommy dearest made it with ham, by all means- make it with ham. Or, if you have an extra hambone lying around- go ahead, TAINT it with leftovers! (ha! JUST KIDDING!)