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The Most Delicious Split Pea Soup in the Known Universe

November 19, 2009

Mrs. Fussy keeps a small spiral bound notebook of meaningful recipes.  Most of the pages are empty.  And every recipe that is in the book is transcribed from the original source by her own hand.

The book includes “Daddy’s Pancakes” which are the pancakes her father is famous for making from an old family recipe.  The original was written on a small scrap of paper.  And although it was wisely laminated, that did not prevent fading.  Luckily we have it captured in the book.

It has been made very clear to me that this family recipe is not to be shared.  Sorry.

But I wanted to give you a sense of the gravitas of this recipe book.  I really only grab for the book when making one thing: Split Pea Soup.  The version I am about to share with you is one of Mrs. Fussy’s favorite things to eat.  And I think it’s pretty fantastic too.

The notebook has a citation that the recipe is from the San Francisco Chronicle.  Well, thanks to the wonders of the internets, you can see the original context of the recipe here (if you scroll down to the second recipe from the bottom).

It turns out this isn’t the San Francisco Chronicle’s Split Pea Soup recipe, as I have been mistakenly assuming for the past several years.  It is Anne Kirby’s split pea soup recipe.  And by now she should be a 79-year-old-grandmother, but was 71 when her recipe was published.

If you want the recipe, you are just going to have to click on the link.

I’ll give you a few pointers though.  My favorite thing about this recipe is the sweet delicate carrot pieces in the soup.  They just are so soft and sweet, and a wonderful counterpoint to the peas.  And I can never get enough.  So eventually I started doubling the carrots, and it made me even happier.

I would still do this even if I weren’t using the dynamite carrots from my favorite producer at the Troy winter farmer’s market.

Getting a good ham hock is trickier than one might expect.  I was not terribly happy with the local happy-meat producers.  The problem wasn’t the meat, but the cure and the smoke.  So today, I am going off in another direction.  Recently I discovered Rolf’s Pork Store.  And they smoke their own hocks.

Despite being all out, they were very helpful in helping me find replacements from what they did have on hand.  I walked out of the store with a smoked pork chop end and some smoked riblets.  We figured that combined it was a good combination of bone and meat.

The new batch of ham hocks will be ready on Wednesday at Rolf’s.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

That next round of hocks will be used for some other delicious winter bean dish.  Because when I make this split pea soup, I always make a double batch and put some away in the freezer.  Then it is on hand for weeks.  All I have to do is melt it down, add water as needed, and adjust for salt.

Beer goes great with this, but I also love it with one of my favorite white wines from California, Navarro Vineyards’ estate bottled dry gewürztraminer.  You would be hard pressed to find it locally, but they ship.  And if you were looking to get me something for the holidays, this taste of home would certainly be warmly received.  They make some dynamite Méthode à l’Ancienne pinot noir too.  So keep your eyes peeled for these two bottles on restaurant wine lists.  And let me know if you see them anywhere locally.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    November 19, 2009 10:20 am

    “Winter” bean dish?! After the last entry, I figured you’s say this was a “great summer soup.” LOL. I love this, especially the Quebecois style with yellow peas.

  2. Landen permalink
    December 3, 2009 1:20 pm

    made this soup based on your recommendation. It was delicious (actually just had some for breakfast). I added some mild Italian sausage during the last half hour of cooking, because the two giant smoked ham hocks I had in the soup was just not enough meat. It became super thick during simmering, so added a little more liquid during cooking. Really excellent – thanks to Mrs. Fussy and Grandma Kirby!

  3. January 7, 2010 6:37 am

    this is going to be soup swaptastic!


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