When it comes to comfort foods, noting beats pea soup on a rainy day. Our mothers both made it and made it about the same. The both strived for a rich creamy texture and built the soup around an old ham bone which contributed to the richness. Of course Dolores’ Mother added more meat and Carrots whereas my mom cooking for six instead of three, used less meat and included dumplings to add some substance to the soup. Dolores hated dumplings so I learned to leave them out and include carrots.
Now forget about dumplings in a coffeepot, they are hard enough to do on a stove top where you can turn up the heat but I suppose one day, I will give it a try just to see if it can be done. But for now I just wanted to see how close I could come to our mothers pea soup in terms of texture and flavor and yes, this soup started life as a vegan meal before I kicked it up a notch by adding Turkey Ham to get the flavor I am used to.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 stalks diced celery
1 bay leaf
1 thin slice scotch bonnet hot pepper
½ teaspoon Thyme
½ teaspoon Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Parsley
Separate the can of peas add the liquid to the pot and mash the peas with a potato masher.
1 can 14.5 oz Vegetable broth. Or if adding turkey ham, use chicken broth.
4 oz Turkey Ham
Now as the ingredient list shows, there is no major change in the ingredients from the vegetarian pea soup other than the Turkey Ham, the biggest change was in the processing and the Peas. Other than my old standby Cruzan Rum, I rarely go out of my way to buy a specific brand of almost any product although I do read the labels and as I said last time avoid anything with sugar added. I usually buy the generic brand because I never see much of a difference.
This time I stumbled upon a can of “Libby’s Naturals” Sweet Peas that are just peas and water with nothing else added to enhance flavor or improve the color over what God provided.
The other major change was that when I separated the peas and water, I held back the water because it really doesn’t have that much flavor and put the peas in a blender with the broth and liquified the peas. The soup had perfect consistency in line with our family traditions but if you like it thinner, you can add some back to the pot about an hour or so before you want to serve it.
I tested the soup about 2 hours before I wanted to eat it and it was great. However, at this point I succumbed to the call of the turkey ham screaming from my refrigerator to make the soup perfect. I added about 4 ounces of turkey ham and let it cook for 2 more hours.
The end result was fantastic, but I’m not sure it was perfect. Maybe that’s the purest in me coming out and I believe it cant be perfect unless it’s made from dry beans and you suffer over the pot for a day hoping that the beans will completely break down into the rich creamy texture desired by dinnertime.
As described above, the vegetarian meal has about about 300 calories and the turkey ham only adds about 150 more with about 40 fat calories. Since I’m not a purest about any food fads and eat most anything, I don’t think the 40 fat calories will do more damage than the bottle of wine I consumed with the meal.