Living in California and driving from NorCal to SoCal down 101, I've stopped by "Andersons Pea Soup" restaurant many times. I've always enjoyed their pea soup though I haven't had it for years. Last night, my son asked his mom if she would make split pea soup. He didn't ask me? Pffft. I guess he hedged his bet on someone who made it before. I volunteered as tribute and we walked to the market to get a bag of green split peas.
The recipe I came up with was inspired by the Anderson's recipe and tailored to my desires. You will need a way to mash the soup into a creamy delight. I used an immersion blender (OMG that was fun). You can mash it all through a screen strainer if that's your thing.
1 Package (1 lb) green split peas
2 Stalks Celery rough cut in 1-inch chunks
2 Carrots rough cut about 1/2-inch chunks
1 Medium Onion rough cut into around 1-inch pieces
1 Medium Bay Leaf crumbled small but not powder
1 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Lawry's (or your preferred brand) seasoned salt
1 quart unsalted chicken stock (substitute for water if you desire)
1 quart filtered water (or boiled and chilled, or set out overnight for chlorine to evaporate)
Optional - Chopped ham added to the finished soup.
Making the soup:
Rinse the peas and remove any rocks or things that don't look like a split peas
Toss everything but the ham into the pot
Bring to a light boil then reduce to medium high rapid simmer
Rapid Simmer 20 minutes
Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Peas should be mushy. If not, check again in 5 minutes
Remove from heat and blend until smooth
Place back on heat and bring to a low simmer
Add salt and black pepper to taste
Add optional chopped ham.
Simmer until at serving temp
If you want to spice it up a little with more:
Add a little more Cayenne or Red Papper flakes
A teaspoon or two of Trader Joe's chili onion crunch
Try crumbling some Trader Joes canned fried jalapeno chilis on top
I rarely eat bread anymore but some sourdough or sweet French baguette would be great with it too.