Tag Archives: sage

Split Pea Soup

I think this split pea soup is the very soup about which was written:

Pea porridge hot, pea porridge cold, pea porridge in the pot nine days old.

After an hour on the stove, it gains a thick consistency, like a porridge. And the quantity of soup produced is so large that I definitely understand how it could sit around for 9 days. Ours sat around for at least 6–though in the fridge, mind you. And in a nice airtight container, for those concerned.

In her original recipe, Tracy says you can use bacon or ham, but I’m completely advocating the use of ham. Because the bacon, after simmering for an hour, is bound to get floppy–and who likes floppy bacon? The chunks of ham are totally satisfying and delicious. Troist me. This is a great comforting soup with awesome flavor, and very little prep work.

The ultimate test: the man of the house. He said (and I quote):

“Why don’t we eat things like this all the time?”

Bless his ever-loving soul. I love it when he says that.

And it’s a good thing he loved it, since we ate this soup all week long and it yielded no less than 4 meals for the two of us–plus a little extra for some hungry members of our Bible study.


( Serves 8 )

2 sweet potatoes or yams, or 1/2 butternut squash
1 large onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
2-3 cups ham cut into 1″ pieces
8 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
16 oz dried split peas
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 TBS dried sage
1 TBS fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Before we jump in, I must explain that my flash temporarily decided to be broken. I switched out batteries a few times, prodded it, swiveled it around–but it would not work. The lighting in my kitchen is very bad, but I was also very hungry and not willing to waste any more time messing with the flash, so I gritted my teeth and took some very bad pictures. Bad light . . . bad focus . . . bad color balance. Man, I’d really grown dependent on that flash unit for my food photography.

Anyway–less about Mr. Speedlight SB-600 and more about the veggies at hand!

Peel the sweet potatoes or yams, and chop ’em up (along with the carrots for OrangeFest 2011) into smallish cubes.

Dice the onion and celery . . .

. . . and cut the ham into 1” cubes.

Dice the basil and pretend I took a picture.

Thoroughly rinse and clean the split peas.

Combine all the ingredients in a very large pot.

Oooh, a shred of light is coming through the window!

It’s the first decent picture of the lot.

Don’t forget the herbs and spices, along with a generous amount of salt and pepper!

Bring to a boil over medium high heat . . .

. . . and rejoice that your flash suddenly decided to work again!

Once the soup boils, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer it for about an hour, stirring a couple times to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and creating a layer of burnination. Remove the cover of the pot during the final 10-15 minutes of cooking. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve hot!

You can also freeze it within 5 days. Or hope for the best and polish it off on day 6.

A note: the soup looks a little watery here, but after a night in the fridge it was so thick it definitely qualified as ‘porridge.’

It was so good that after eating it all week long, by the time I scooped up the very last spoonfuls from the very last bowl, I was actually disappointed.

I actually started plotting when I could make it again.

True story.

I think you guys will love this one!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Split Pea Soup

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

Happy Thanksgiving!

You probably have pumpkin coming out your ears. In fact, you may at this very moment in time be digging into a slice of pumpkin pie. But I am taking a risk and sending one more pumpkin recipe out there. I figure by the end of the day some of you may have leftover or half-used cans of pumpkin puree, and this dish will give that puree a delicious home.

I found the idea for this recipe on a blog I frequent called The Pajama Chef. Sarah christened the first week of November ‘Pumpkin week’ and posted daily pumpkin recipes. When I pulled up her blog one morning and saw her recipe for what she called ‘Pumpfredo’ sauce, I was intrigued.

Mustard? Yogurt? Pumpkin? Huh?

I just had to try it.

Her version is very healthy–yogurt, no butter, no cream, and only 2 Tablespoons of cheese. But I couldn’t bear to make it with no whipping cream! I had a huge carton of it just sitting in my fridge! So my version has cream. And I had just bought 2 big wedges of Parmesan on sale at the grocery store . . . so I used at least 5 times as much Parmesan as she did. Oh, and because I can’t leave well enough alone, I also added butter. I’m sorry Sarah! I had to follow my heart. And the heavy whipping cream and I go back . . . far back. I hope you understand. My loyalties are deep.

Guys, it’s creamy. It’s rich–but not too rich. With a cup of pure pumpkin puree in it, it’s bound to have some health value. If I had picky eaters around my table, this would be a great way to sneak some veggies into their dinner equation. Of course if I have kids, my plans dictate they will be consummate eaters of things like brussel sprouts. Spinach. Salads.

Things even I rejected as a child.

But that’s why we’re fathering the next generation–so that they can go above and beyond us. Right?

Anyway, let’s get this pumpkin pasta on the table. We’ve got things to do, places to go, stuff to see, and they all involve a plate of this creamalicious orange stuff.


(Serves 5)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard

1 tablespoon fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage

3/4 c heavy whipping cream

1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

salt to taste

lots of freshly ground black pepper

2 TBS butter

1 lb pasta, cooked

Place the pumpkin puree (please note: not the same thing as pumpkin pie filling!), mustard, sage, chicken broth in a saucepan.

Give ‘er a good old-fashioned whisk to meld it all together.

Cover and heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. When you uncover the old girl, the sauce should pass the ‘drag’ test–if you drag a spatual across the pan, the area should not immediately refill with liquid.

With the heat still on low, add the Parmesan cheese, the butter and the cream.

Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low, stirring frequently, and let it thicken and become glorious.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. I happen to like tons of black pepper in mine. I also recommend adding a solid amount of salt, since once the sauce coats the pasta, the levels of saltiness will need to carry the whole dish through.

Pour the sauce into the cooked pasta . . .

. . . and stir to mix all that lovely goodness together, where it was meant to be from the dawn of time.

Heck yes!


Let it sit for a few minutes to ‘set.’

Serve ‘er up, garnished with some extra sage and parmesan.

She’s a beaut alright.

Grab a fork and dig in!

The pumpkin flavor is there, but it’s not screaming at you. It’s perfect its subtle creaminess.

This would be perfect served with a little leftover turkey. Uh huh.

Enjoy, my friends! I hope you’re all having a beautiful day with family and friends . . .

Of course, I’m just remembering this is the internet. And not all of you live in the US. In fact, Canadians are waaaay over Thanksgiving. They had theirs ages ago.

So for my international friends–I love you too. Make this fettuccine. Amen.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo