Sunday, March 31, 2013

$3.43 Best Pea Soup

At the risk of boring the hell out of my Readers, I have another recipe I wanted to share.  But hey, who wouldn't want to fix a dinner for four people on only $3.43?!!  Times are tough and they're only getting tougher. We've only got one income in our home and I've got two growing adolescent boys who threaten to eat us out of house and home every time the dinner bell rings. If we had a dinner bell, anyway. 

This pea soup recipe is one of my own. I just combined things we like and voila. It's very tasty. Your house will smell so good while it's cooking, too. Give it a try! And if you like it then you can very easily double it and freeze it. That's what I do all summer while the kids are away-- make stews and freeze them. It's very handy when there is a crazed day ahead of us or I just don't feel like cooking.

Best Pea Soup only takes about 45 minutes to make from start to finish. This recipe makes four servings if they're used as a main course. It also fills 1/2 a gallon freezer bag just to give you an idea of possibilities for the future.

1 lb dried split peas
½ large spicy white onion, diced or chopped, your choice.
2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic(jar garlic is cheapest, which is what I use)
4 oz. finenly chopped raw bacon, smoked. (Chop with kitchen shears. Super easy!)
One small dash of Kitchen Bouquet Browning Sauce(about 3 tbs.)

6 cups of water.

We like steamed baby carrots on the side of this dish so that's an additional $.99 for a 1 lb bag. That's how the math adds up to $3.43. Aldi has these bags of baby carrots on sale right now for $.53 so YAY! I can make this particular meal this week for even less!

Here are the directions for the soup.
  1. In a medium/large pot fry your onion, bacon, garlic, and browning sauce. Stir well and cook until onions are almost translucent. Bacon will not be crispy. 
  2. Rinse your split peas and then add them to the pot plus the six cups of water. 
  3. Simmer with tilted lid on medium heat until peas are very soft, almost 30-40 minutes. Six cups of water is the perfect amount. Stir well to bring up the water from the bottom of the pot to convince yourself of this if you need to. When it's done cooking and you've done enough stirring, the soup will look like a thick green gravy. Taste test it to make sure the peas are soft and fall apart. You don't want even slightly crunchy peas.
A sprinkle of course sea salt, to taste, is awesome in this soup. It really makes the flavors pop.

Possible additions: 
  • Shredded cheeses on top. Smoked gouda is sublime with this soup.
  • A dollop of sour cream.
  • Nooch(nutritional yeast).
What else do you like on your pea soup?

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