As mentioned in other blogs, when I have the extra money, and the inkling, I like to challenge my comfort-zone limits on cooking. I do so by buying some main ingredient or even a side dish item, I have never cooked…

For this week, here’s the gathering from the cabinet… of acquisitions gone-by. And, embarrassingly enough – about to *gasp* expire:

I will have to get back with you on the Farro… but, this week…

I made Split Pea Soup – for the first time!

I sorted and rinsed the peas… while they drained, I looked through my cookbooks… and, well, found nothing…

What? Vegans and vegetarians don’t eat split pea soup?

I went to the Almighty Google…

Ohhh… Ham hock? Hmm… that would be problematic…

…FOR SOMEONE THAT DOESN’T KNOW THE HOLY TRIO OF ANY BEAN SOUP:

Carrots, Celery, and Onion… The Holy Trio! 😉

Who needs meat? Not us! I used just a touch of canola oil, but you can use just water or a little broth. Whatever your dietary requirements call for…

Now, I don’t rightly recall exactly what all was in those online recipes (FoodNetwork is a go-to for ideas or inspirations, though…). I just considered the main ingredient: peas. Peas can be pasty and, well, bland. Believe it or not, they’re not my favorite green food (that’s kale, duh!). In fact… they aren’t on the favorite list at all. But, I won’t waste a green if offered…

Yes… I also had RED LENTILS:

Of note: Peas and red lentils are of the sort of legume that, while also needing to be sorted and rinsed, well, when wet, it forms a solid CAKE, shaped just like the strainer. Be not afeard. It breaks up easily enough in the pan! *gasp*
Hehe… SEE?? Pea lentil cake! lol.

Red lentils I have used before, by the way. There’s a spaghetti recipe in 2 of my vegan cookbooks. The lentils are in place of the meat. Red lentils have the fortunate side effect, when cooked, to turn into mush. Sounds weird… but… hey, it’s perfect. They blend, thicken, and add a spicy edge to the finished product.

Moving on… I sautéed everything together, just to blend the flavors:

See? No more pea-lentil cake! 🙂

For just a minute or two…

The spices?

Well, that was one common ingredient from the online, ham hock recipes.. And it was just one thing:

About 2-3 teaspoons… I mixed it in with the Holy Trio, just as the onions got that ‘pearly’ look.

Next… I put in, oh about 8 cups of…

Oh my gosh.

There’s peas, lentils, and the Holy Trio in there… Somewhere…

Um, I think that’s actually CHICKEN BROTH… lol.

Um, yeah. Definitely chicken. Why do you think I kept bugging you while you tried to cook?

Oh well. So much for vegan. It must have been all I had at the time. I could swear this was vegan… but, well…

Nope… just looked at the pic again.

That’s chicken broth. *sigh* But, I’m sure vegetable broth will work JUST FINE (next time).

Hey, it happens.

Only 5mg of cholesterol. *pah* that’s nothin’… *brush it off*

So… I poured the CHICKEN BROTH in…(semi-vegetarian, my crickets, not mostly vegan)

And let it simmer (not boil!) for, oh, about an hour. Stirring occasionally.

Ah hah! See! Told you! There’s the peas and veggies! But, where’s the lentils? hmm… (that’s the spicy zing…)


Anyway… despite the epic CHICKEN BROTH fail, I hope this inspires you to be brave in the kitchen and try some fruit, vegetable, or legume you’ve never cooked before.

And remember… in my house… we go for mostly successful. We get points for trying… especially in the kitchen. And if the end result is tasty. Well, then, even better!

By the way… the girls fought over leftover pea soup on Saturday for lunch, until I told them there were TWO SERVINGS left! 😉

Cheers! 🙂