Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Creamy Split Pea Soup

It seems as if we should really be beyond soup weather, doesn't it? With the exception of just a handful of glorious days, this spring seems to have had more than its usual fair share of rainy and cloudy skies. And so, the crockpots remain on the kitchen counter (actually, they never get put away around here) because as much as we want to move past soup, some days just call for a big bowl.

That's fine with me, especially if it's this Creamy Split Pea Soup from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian. This is the second recipe I've made from this collection ... and it's a crockpot recipe!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 10 hours, 50 minutes
Makes 8 servings


1 lb. dried green split peas (2 cups), sorted, rinsed
6 cups water
1/2 cup dry sherry or apple juice (I used apple juice)
1 large dark-orange sweet potato, peeled, cubed (2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsps. salt
3 cups firmly packed chopped fresh spinach leaves (I omitted and we didn't miss it)
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tbsps. chopped fresh dill weed
freshly ground pepper to taste

(Don't tell The Dean or my kids, but I substituted 10 oz. of frozen cooked winter squash for the sweet potato. You'll see that I have it hidden so they wouldn't even see it as I took the photo. They were none the wiser at the dinner table. Heh, heh, heh.)

In a 3.5 - 4 qt. slow cooker, mix split peas, water, sherry or apple juice, sweet potato, onion, garlic and salt. Cover, cook on Low heat setting for 10 to 11 hours. Stir in spinach, whipping cream and dill weed. Cover; cook on Low heat for about 30 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Season with pepper.

I cooked this for a little less than the stated time, thanks to getting a late start on this. It turned out to be something like 5 hours on Low and 3 on High. I'll admit this turned out a little bit on the bland side, but it's still worth keeping. Next time, I'll add some vegetarian bacon and I might try doing 3 cups of vegetable broth and 3 cups of water.

Suggested accompaniments to this are a fruit salad, a green salad, and some warm crusty rolls.

I know, not the best of photos, but pea soup - like the weather that inspires making it - is hard to photograph nicely.

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