There are times when I would go to the grocery store without any idea at all on what ingredients to buy and cook for our daily meals. However, I find it inspiring to stroll from the produce section to the other aisles in search of something new to try. Walking along the rice and dried beans aisle, I spotted some dried split peas among the other staples. I usually pick up dried lentils, pinto, navy and 15-bean variety. We have soup for dinner at least once a week, especially during this chilly weather. They're just so good and comforting paired with some crusty bread or fresh cornbread. I decided to make corn muffins this time for a change. Unfortunately, I overbaked them a little bit, resulting in a much drier crumb. Although I prefer them moist like cupcake, this batch wasn't too bad served with the creamy split pea soup. My husband actually enjoyed them better dipped into the hot soup. The split pea soup was quick and easy to make.
CREAMY SPLIT PEA SOUP
a few ham slices, chopped coarsely
about 2-3 tbsps. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups dried split peas, rinsed well
3 cups water (add more if necessary)
1 cup chicken broth
1 small carrot, diced
1 potato, diced (optional)
a few green beans, diced (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
half & half or whole milk
Pan-fry the ham in a small amount of olive oil for a few minutes or until slightly browned. In the same pan, cook the onions. Add the rinsed split peas, water and chicken broth. Simmer until the peas are half cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until peas are tender. Stir in a little half and half. Serve with warm cornbread.