The first time I made split pea soup for my husband, he stirred his spoon around in his bowl thoughtfully, lifted it up and let the soup drip off, and then commented, “This soup is good… Hmmm, my mom’s split pea soup is really thick though. I wonder how she does that.”
What he was saying was, “Maybe you could call my mom for a pointer or two because even though this soup is really good, I love it when it’s thick.”
What I heard was, “I wish I hadn’t married you and was still living at home with my two brothers, sister, and cat; so that I could eat my mom’s amazingly thick pea soup whenever I wanted to.”
Yeah, it didn’t go over well.
So I set out on a mission to make the thickest pea soup he had ever tasted. Because then I would be the wife he needed — the wife he deserved. And I would hold conferences and write books to inspire other woman in their quest to be the best wife possible. (Okay, okay, getting a bit carried away here…)
Anyhow, I set out in my split pea soup journey to make a thicker, more hearty entrée. The funny thing is that I needn’t have worried about my soup not being thick enough any longer. Because as life became busier and my time to spend in the kitchen diminished, I found myself over-cooking it to the point where most of the broth had evaporated. But instead of being frustrated that my soup was now thick like lumpy, green mashed potatoes, I was delighted because my husband loved the thickness. Seriously, he can no longer stir his spoon around in his soup and watch the soup drip off. It won’t drip. That soup ain’t going anywhere unless more than gravity is tugging at it.
But I think the greatest happiness for me is that I now understand that my husband loves and appreciates my cooking attempts, even if they are sometimes flops or not quite up to our expectations. He’s proud of me for trying — grateful that there’s food on the table for dinner. So much so that he thanks me every night for the meal. And it’s a gesture I never get tired of…
Split Pea Soup — Super Thick Style
— 2 cups chicken broth
–1 cup dry split peas, rinsed and drained
— meaty ham bone
–1/4 tsp dried marjoram
–1 bay leaf
–1/2 cup chopped carrot
–1/2 cup chopped onion
1. In a large saucepan, combine broth, split peas, ham bone, marjoram, bay leaf, 2 cups water, and dash pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat but keep it at a steady boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove meat. When cool enough to handle, cut meat of bones and chop meat. (Throw away the bone). Meanwhile, add the vegetables and simmer for 20-30 more minutes until veggies are tender and soup is thick. Add meat, stir and heat until hot. Serve and enjoy. 🙂