Monday, November 28, 2011

Warm and Delicious

Ohhhh I'm excited-the dinner I just ate was so good!  Ready for it?  I made Split Pea Soup for the first time.  I got this recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe and I can't tell you enough how good it was.  I guess I was worried about it because I have never made Split Pea Soup.  Also, I have never cooked with split peas or barley.  I found comfort in the fact that Mel hadn't either when she made this recipe:)  I used a ham bone with ham chunks on it instead of the chopped ham in her recipe.  Other than that I followed it exactly.
This is the finished product which was so warm and cozy in my stomach:)  I'm glad it is a cold night.  Check out the process:
 Best part of this is I used more leftovers:  celery, carrots, onion, and the ham bone...or ham hock...I always call it a ham hock but it sounds funny.
 It looks funny too but here are the ingredients, you place them in the order listed on the recipe.  It did not take long to put it together.

 Crock-pot on low for about 7 hours and this is what you get.  I had to take the ham off the bone and chop it up...that was not the best.  Good thing I have no heat sensors on my fingers (from working in the food service and burning them so much)! 
 Ham back in the pot and stir until it looks like this.
I have only had Split Pea Soup about two times, so I put it in my bowl and I was thinking....cheese?  No!  I am trying to eat things without cheese sometimes LOL.  Cliff and me eat A LOT of cheese if you have not noticed.  I was glad I did not put anything on it.
It was delicious as is with a side of a leftover Thanksgiving Roll toasted with butter!

Split Pea Soup
*Serves 4-6

1 cup dry split green peas
1/2 cup medium pearl barley (not quick-cooking barley)
2 cups chopped ham or ham bone with a little meat left on it
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
5 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules)
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf


In a medium round slow cooker (about 4-quart), layer peas, barley, ham, carrots, onion and celery. Do not mix. Pour in the water and add spices, bouillon cubes, and the bay leaf to the slow cooker. Don’t stir! Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or on low eight hours, until the peas reach the desired creamy, soft texture. Remove the bay leaf, stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately. Upon sitting and/or refrigerating, this soup thickens considerably. Simply add water or chicken broth to thin the soup to the desired consistency before reserving.

**Adapted slightly from Mels Kitchen Cafe

I was so excited to blog about this because it is always nice to have success the first time you cook something.  I loved this and it made plenty for leftovers (probably lunch for the next few days).  If you have ever wanted to make this soup...let this be your first recipe-you will not regret it.
I was reading Iowa Girl Eats blog and she is doing a 20 Day Workout Challenge!  I am thinking I need to get in on this.  I workout almost every day anyways, but this might be a good way to mix up my routine a little it will be a little extra motivation to get moving even when it is cold outside!  As you can tell...I probably won't be cutting back on sweets this month:)  I ate a mixed nut cluster for dinner...I only have one left:(  Help Aunt Kathy!!!!  Hope everyone had a great Monday.

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