Today I made a taco soup. I couldn't find a recipe that I liked, so I made one up. I browned some venison with some onions, added some taco seasoning and a little water, and added a can of tomatoes. I decided my soup needed some black beans so I went hunting for some in the pantry. I was all out, but I had some soaked beans in the freezer, so I took them out and added them to the soup. I knew this would mean at least an hour of cooking to soften the beans, so I didn't add much else until the beans were soft enough for human consumption. I did have to keep adding water from time to time, since it took so long for the beans to get soft enough. I added a little salsa and some more tomatoes toward the end, along with a can of corn, and dinner was served. We put some chips in our bowls and poured the soup out on top of it, added some cheese and sour cream, and we gobbled it up. Well, Lacy and Rose mostly gobbled up the chips. Thank goodness they eat so much fruit these days that I didn't really concern myself with how much soup they ate! Ideally, I would have some avacado to eat with the soup, but I didn't have any on hand.
I also really like a split pea soup recipe I found in Mothering magazine a couple years ago. It adds fresh dill and peas to make a really delicious soup. Unfortunately I can't find an online link to this recipe and I have some snacks waiting for me in the other room, so you'll have to wait until I can find a link or type it out (or better yet-- pick up a copy of Mothering at your local library!). Dave unfortunately is not a fan of this soup, but I have a ham bone I need to get rid of so I'll probably make this soup tomorrow. Convieniently, Dave will be away and won't have to eat it (unless he wants leftovers!). I don't have any fresh dill, so dried will have to do. I'm really excited to start eating the goodness of soup all winter long! I'll probably be making soup at least once a week, if not more, for the next several months. Yippee!
OK, I'm back with the soup recipe! It's called Split Pea Soup with Fresh Peas and Potatoes. I'll be digging up some red potatoes today to go in it. Yum! I'm also probably going to cook it in the crock pot as I may have a meeting this afternoon for YW.
1 cup split peas, soaked 4-6 hours in 4 cups water or stock
1 tablespoon butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 small red potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1-2 turns of freshly ground black pepper
7 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large bay leaf
1 small ham bone
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1-2 teaspoons fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Soak split peas 4-6 hours in 4 cups water or stock. This will make them easier to digest, shorten their cooking time, and improve the soup’s texture. Discard soaking water before adding peas to soup.
Heat fat in a soup pot or pressure cooker. Add onions and salt and saute until onions begin to soften. Add celery, carrot, potatoes, cumin and pepper; saute an additional 5-7 minutes. Add split peas, water or stock, and bay leaf. Add ham bone and vinegar. If pressure cooking: bring up to pressure on high heat, then lower heat and cook 40 minutes. If using soup pot: bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 60 to 90 minutes. Once split peas have softened and the soup has become creamy, remove ham bone. Cut off any meat, discard skin and bone, dice meat into small pieces, and add to soup with fresh or frozen peas and dill. Check seasonings; add more salt and pepper if needed. Continue cooking a few more minutes until peas are tender.