Split Pea Soup and my Ah-Ha Moments.

Not quite yet back to work, in a last minute effort to jam as much frugal skill as possible into my natural kitchen habits, yesterday I worked on strengthening my bean-soaking abilities.

Observation: Culinary Square Piece succeeds at the sort of kitchen ventures that require the ability to ignore projects for hours on end.  How did I make cream cheese?  I ignored the sack of yogurt that hung overnight.  How did I make goat cheese?  I ignored the sack of goat curds that hung overnight.  How did I make yogurt?  I ignored the cultured milk in the mason jar as it incubated overnight.  And how did I make an awesome split pea soup yesterday?  Well, it started with me ignoring the split peas as they soaked – you guessed it – overnight.

Apparently, I’m quite gourmet in my sleep.

A bag of dried beans costs a little bit more than a can of beans.  But with the dried, you’re getting, like, I don’t know, a million times more (or some figure like that).  I once made the mistake of thinking that soaked beans would be edible in the morning.  This is not true.  Soaked beans are just ready to be cooked in the morning.  A few years later (and obviously much wiser), I’m now cashing in on this knowledge.

The question I had to ask myself was, “Why am I not using more beans?  They’re so good for me.  They’re inexpensive.  They’re easy.  And I’m gonna be cooking a meal anyway, so I might as well make it bigger with some beans!

I mean – Sheesh! – if I can brush my teeth at night, surely I can dump two cups of water on one cup of beans and walk away, right?


While I didn’t measure a darn thing that I tossed in the crock pot for my split pea soup, I did come away with a few Ah-Ha’s that I’d like to share:

  • Ah-Ha: A while back, I tossed some chicken bones into the freezer with the intention of making more chicken stock when I accumulated enough bones.  Well, being that I didn’t have enough broth for my soup today, I just bundled a bunch of bones (after a little roasting in the oven) and tossed them into the slow cooker to help flavor the meal.  Genius!  Totally cuts out the stock-making step!
  • Ah-Ha: Regular sewing thread DOES work in a pinch.  I was concerned that it might disintegrate into my soup, but I didn’t have any kitchen twine.  As it turns out, I fretted for nought.

Once the soup was done cooking, I carefully removed my bone-and-rosemary bundle (I have so much rosemary!) and used an immersion blender to give the soup more creaminess.  And you know what else gives soup creaminess?  CREAM.  So I blended some of that in there, too.

All right, who’s coming over for leftovers?  Is there a small army out there who needs a meal?  ‘Cause now I’ve got split pea soup comin’ out the wahzoo!


  1. February 28, 2013

    Love split pea soup!!! 🙂
    Bring Squishy, too!!!

  2. February 28, 2013

    Sounds like a great thing to freeze in smaller portions for days you can’t/don’t want to cook! Nice work!

  3. February 28, 2013

    looks yummy!!

    i keep a spool of #8 thread in my kitchen drawer for things like sewing up poultry, etc

    the ‘kitchen twine’ is somewhere in one of my craft supply drawers

    go figure.

  4. March 5, 2013

    Nicely done, Sue! I’ll probably get back into the kitchen more come Spring. I haven’t felt too creative lately.

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