Adapted from RelatedByFoodJustAddWine’s Slow Cooker Newfoundland Pea Soup. Stream of consciousness in italics adds insight into my cooking philosophy [such as it is] and practice.
Pea soup seemed like a good thing to make in a slow cooker. It’s dense and sludgy, so it should stand up for several leftover meals.
Nope, not putting a ham bone in, even though it would be delicious. I don’t eat pigs.
Grocery store had no salt beef in stock, so that was out too, which was probably just as well, since it’s loaded with unnecessary salt. Decided that ground beef + garlic could serve just as well.
Also celery is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. NO CELERY.
1 lb. ground beef.
1 lb. dry yellow split peas. Not sure why they have to be yellow, but there they are. Also not sure why they were in the “Mexican” aisle of the grocery store. Dividing up the grocery store along geographical and ethnic lines doesn’t make sense to me. Original amount was 2 cups, but that would have left just a little of the bag left over, so I put in the whole bag.
2 carrots, sliced.
1 white onion, diced. Or a big onion of any type, really. I’m not picky.
2 potatoes, cubed. Any kind of potatoes, except for sweet.
3 packets Herbox bouillon in 6 cups warm water. Original recipe calls for 6 cups, more or less, of chicken broth. The water part of the broth is obviously a necessary addition, but the chicken part seems to be there just for flavor. I mean, this recipe certainly doesn’t need any more sodium, which is why I go for Herbox, a salt-free chicken boullion powder. 6 packets Herbox + 6 cups water seems like chicken broth overkill, so I halved the bouillon.
1/2 tsp. pepper. Or just crank the pepper mill over the slow cooker until it looks like enough has been ground in.
1/2 tsp. thyme. All measurements start off with the intention of exactitude, but then err in either direction, depending on how messily I pour the spices into the measuring spoons.
Somewhere between 1/2 and 1 tsp. cumin. A large hunk of cumin jumped into the pot when I was measuring. Cumin was not in original recipe, but I added it because, after my experience with tomato-based chicken veggie stew, I realized that cumin improves lots of dishes!
1 tsp. parsley. Parsley, on the other hand, is of dubious value, unless fresh.
1 tsp. salt. Just salt until it’s well salted.
6 hulking garlic cloves, minced. I was trying to use up a head on the verge of turning green. Also you can never have too much garlic!!
Thaw ground beef. Mince garlic; mix in with beef. Brown beef; drain.
Put all ingredients in slow cooker; cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Poke soup after three hours; taste and realize that peas have not disintegrated and flavors have not mingled.
Add more salt, pepper, and thyme. Turn down to low; cook on low for 5 more hours until peas have disintegrated. Get up at 2:00 AM; discover that soup has reached state of optimum sludge. Sample approvingly. Put in plastic storage container; wash dishes; go back to bed, looking forward to soup the next night.
Entry will be updated after serious taste testing tonight.
EDIT: This stuff is really good. It can be eaten hot or cold, and it’s especially good with savory bread — we ate it with garlic and cheese breadsticks last night, and tonight I’m going to pair it with a rosemary chive roll. It starts out porridgey, but then, as the excess water evaporates, it turns to the consistency of [delicious] cement. If you look up “hearty” in the dictionary, there is a picture of my pea soup. The flavors, like the peas themselves, disintegrate and blend over the course of cooking, so I could probably put more garlic and cumin in it without harming the taste. I was right in my assumption, however, that other spices compensate for a lack of salt; this soup needs no additional salt.