Thick as London Fog?
Split Pea Soup
© Frank Ford, 2001; Photos by FF

Talk about foolproof. This recipe is even luthier-proof! It yields something in the range of 36-40 eight ounce servings, depending on the amount of water. Because it takes a trip through the Blendor, this soup is ideal for freezing with minimal effect on taste, and no effect on texture.

The ingredients:
3 lb. Dried Split Peas 2 lb. Spinach 6 medium Jalapeno Peppers
2 lb. Carrots 2 lb. Potatoes A Bell Pepper or two
2 lb. Onions 2 bulbs Garlic Salt

Most of the ingredients need very little preparation. I just wash the fresh ones. I sometimes use frozen spinach because it's cheaper and much easier to deal with.

After washing thoroughly, the big ingredients get hacked up into pieces. I'll cut the carrots into about four pieces, onions and potatoes, eight.

Only the garlic gets special handling. I simply break off all the cloves and throw away that little tough root section.

No peeling at all -- even garlic, onions, or peppers. Everything gets dumped right in the big pot.

I usually put the peas on top to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pot when I leave it on the boil. I figure 8-9 quarts of water, depending on how thick I want the final product. Nine quarts usually gets me a thick "muggable" soup. Eight, and it's a spoon for sure.

Dang! I can never find that pot lid. Oh, well, this skillet will do the job. Usually I leave it on a low boil for an hour or two. The best part is that nothing gets hurt when I forget to check it, and I usually do forget. . .

Anyhow, when I'm sure there are no survivors, I take the hot pot off the stove and dump the contents into one section of my sink. I suppose a second pot would make sense, but I have only one that's this big.

Now, running hot stuff through the blender requires a bit of caution, so I start the machine, and pour the soup into the hopper while the blades are spinning.

I found it really messy to use the lid, so I grab a clean towel to keep the stuff from splashing all over the walls.

Pouring the blended soup through a sieve makes sure that any stray lumps, fibers, pepper or garlic parts get strained out.

Lastly, I'll stir in some salt, as they say, "to taste." The onions, garlic, and jalapenos give me all the seasoning I need. The taters make for a really smooth blended soup, and the variety of veggies keep it from being too "pea-ish."

I started this project at about 12:30, and it took me half an hour to get everything in the pot. I cooked it for 1-1/2 hours. and spent one hour blending. Here we are, with everything done, decanted into containers for the freezer, and the kitchen all cleaned up.

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Here's a cool piece of musical trivia. It was Fred Waring, the famous bandleader (Waring's Pennsylvanians) who's also the Waring of Waring Blendors. I wonder if he's the one who thought of spelling it "Blendor" instead of "blender." A cute trademark idea. . .