I have no sense of temporal eating (temporal, as in “temperature,” because they didn’t have a word that ends in “al” for it, pooey ‘’-_-, so I decided to make one up, as it were. Or, more accurately, use one preexisting word incorrectly). As the seasons change, I’ll likely still be eating ice cream even as I have to palm my windows to cake off actual ice, or, in contrast, I’ll likely be slurping up spicy soup despite the summery sidewalk sizzle. But then, I’m a Bay Area babe, growing up in a town where the weathers never really ever exactly what you’d expect it to be, so maybe that’s why my cravings are rather…spontaneous?
This whole Split Pea Soup obsession started, though, when I stopped by a friend’s house after a run like maybe half a year ago (haha…running, yeah…>.>…half a year ago, yeah…<.<) Her mom had made this WONDERFUL homemade split pea soup. I’d always remembered split pea soup tasting kinda…gummy, I guess: like old lady teeth in a glass—the type of soup you smack on, trying not to taste, and swallow like vomit you don’t want to regurgitate. Definition: eeeeew!* But, my friends mom’s soup was really damn good—I guess that’s ‘cause, before, I’d always had Split Pea Soup from a can. Campbell’s, to be exact, and that’s not exactly what my taste buds would call Welcome to Yumzville…
So a couple things happened that day: one, I realized that I MUST recreate this masterpiece of peas…AND, well…I forgot what the second thing was.
ANYWAYS, despite that so called spontaneity, I crave familiarity. Once I decide I like something, I tend to stick with it. I guess I’m just simple like that…so I’ve made this exact same Split Pea Soup…er “Stew,” recipe a gazillion times before I finally decided to take photos and blog about it, and lets be honest…it’s rather chunky, and isn’t really that traditional of a Split Pea soup. I mean, it’s got potatoes in it…
My favorite thing about this soup, though, is that it manages to be extraordinarily light on the stomach, while still remaining rather hardy. It’s full of magic, that’s why!
Speaking of magic…
As we know from the Mapo Doufu post, I’m kinda in love with Cayenne Pepper (which I sometimes call Kanye Pepper, cause I can’t pronounce Cayenne). But, as we’re about to find out, I’m also kinda in love with Five Spice Powder, or wu xiang fen [五香粉]. I had this kinda weird period of my life in which I was shaking Five Spice on my Turkey Sandwiches. Those same sandwiches also contained seaweed [don’t ask…]. Five Spice is popular in Chinese cooking, and is kinda sweet. It contains: cinnamon, anise, fennel, cloves, and “cinger.” I’m guessing this is a misspelling of ginger–I know, my Five Spice Bottle is hella sketch [which by that I mean, sketchy]. Some versions of five spice have hua jiao, or Sichuan Peppercorn, in them–and, as we also know from the Mapo Doufu post, I kinda love Huajiao too. But I call those two spices for which I’m in love, magic, because they make this dish smell absolutely magnificent, and taste absolutely… well, just wait and see ;). Now, for the ingredients in this east and west(ish) fusion:
- 12 oz or 1 cup and 1/2 green split peas, stones removed, and washed.
- 4-5 medium sized red potatoes, rinsed with skin on, and chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 red or yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- about 1 cup to 1 cup and 1/2 apple smoked bacon, chopped into bite size pieces. Depending on how much fat is on your bacon, you may want to remove some of the fat, but I like to leave a little for flavor.
- 1 tbsp five spice powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 32 oz, or 4 cups, low sodium chicken broth plus 1 cup water
- 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed of ice
- In a large pot, heat about 1-2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion. Sweat for about five minutes, or until the onion starts to turn translucent. Then, add the garlic, and continue to cook for another three minutes or so.
- In the pot, add the chicken broth plus 1 cup water.
- Add the spices, the split peas, bacon, and potatoes.
- Cover and raise the heat to high. Wait until the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer–about medium low heat.
- Let cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to thicken up–about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Add the rinsed frozen peas, and stir to combine.
- Serve with yummy bread.
- Eat it and stuff.
Next time I make this, I think I might add some shaoxing rice wine, and some ground hua jiao pepper…(what was the poo about familiarity? XP)