For years my mother made the greatest pea soup. Now I make it the very same way.

This recipe is from Anderson’s pea soup house. Yes, that’s the one with the windmill on top. And they also sell their soup in cans, White cans with green writing.

I love to make this for a cold winter’s day. (Here in Hawaii that means the temperature dropping below seventy degrees in February).

OK. First you will need to buy a bag of dried green peas at the market. Any kind is fine. You will need three stalks of celery, one onion and two or three carrots. Now this is my addition: To make it extra good, a ham bone, ham shank or just some little pieces of cut up ham.

If you are a strict vegetarian, you can leave out the ham or ham bone, but I think it adds a lot of flavor.

For spices, besides salt and pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper and lot (at least one or two teaspoons) of thyme (dried, fresh or both).

Heat a little oil in a big pot. Add coarsely chopped onion, celery and carrot and stir around a couple of minutes. Add ham bone, rinsed peas and seven or eight cups of water. Salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper, thyme come next. Stir together.

Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook for about two hours, or until peas are tender and soup is all blended and the right thickness. You can add more water if necessary.

This makes quite a lot, so if you save some for later, you will have to add more water as you heat it up again. This turns into a big glob when you chill it.

I like to serve this with homemade croutons. To make these, take what’s left of a loaf of sourdough or french bread and cut into cubes or tear into little chunks. Before you do this spread the bread with garlic/butter. Or use left over garlic bread.

Put a little oil in a frying pan and dump in the croutons. Stir till they are nice and toasty. Turn off heat and let them crisp. That’s it. Serve a few on top of each bowl of soup, or let guests serve themselves.

To make Bulls eye soup, heat a can of tomato soup in a separate pot. Make a little circle using a folded over waxed paper strip held together with a paper clip.

If you wrap the strip around two fingers, this should be about the right size. Set the open circle in the middle of the soup bowl.

Fill the circle with a spoonful of tomato soup. Add the pea soup around the outside edge of the waxed paper to the edge of the bowl. Remove the waxed paper circle and the two colors will not run together. Bulls eye!

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