God’s own pea soup

I was sort of vaguely listening to the chatter of the hordelings from my lofty perch near the continental divide (the North-South one) when I heard discussions of food, and one word leapt out at me: peas. There is much conversation about peas in the comments here, so I assume you must all love them as much as I do. So I bought peas, many peas, and I had dried peas soaking overnight, and this morning I made pea soup by tossing in carrots and onions and oregano and garlic and a bit of salt and a few other secret ingredients, and I set it to simmer.


The peas are already creamy, and it’s at that delightful stage where the kitchen is rich with the smell of peas, and it’s wafting through the house warmly, tantalizing me. It’ll be ready for lunch. And dinner. And dinner tomorrow. It probably won’t make it to nine days, though. It will be gone.

Since it was all your idea, I thought I’d share. Don’t be jealous!


  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oooh, looks tasty.
    Secret ingredients? You mean you showed it a ham bone?

  2. blf says

    Secret ingredients? You mean you showed it a ham bone?

    The plan is probably to put on a moon suit, rocket into the sun that foul liquid fumigating the house, and eat the pan, which should have surrendered by then.

    Unfortunately, the concoction is not a cure for Ebola.
    Even more unfortunately, it attracts horses.

  3. The Mellow Monkey says

    Mmm, peas. Mmm, soup. I made a tomato bisque last night that was quite heavenly. Sometimes simple food is the best.

  4. numerobis says

    I am for some reason terrified of making pea soup, because clearly it’s very hard.

    So instead I make lentil soups.

  5. says

    Meet Derek Kitchen of the famous Kitchen v. Herbert case. This is a good background story.

    Excerpt detailing the broader effect on gay-marriage laws:

    Kitchen is one of six gay and lesbian plaintiffs who sued the state for marriage rights. Their names — Karen Archer, Kate Call, Kody Partridge, Moudi Sbeity, Laurie Wood — will be forever tied to the case that brought same-sex marriage to Utah and set a groundbreaking precedent that began a wave of similar decisions across the U.S.

    Bans on same-sex marriage have been overturned in 25 states and counting.

    Kitchen’s name — and Utah’s case — is cited in almost every one. […]

    It’s just so perfect that Kitchen’s story begins in Utah.

  6. says

    I love peas. People who dislike peas cannot be trusted. :)

    Apparently I make bomb borscht. I love beets*. People don’t understand beets, just like they don’t understand peas.

    *I typed “beats” in both places the first time because I need moar coffee.

  7. Georgia Sam says

    One word: butterbeans. Season with a little ham, serve with cornbread (real cornbread, not the sweet kind). Ain’t hardly no better eatin’ in the whole world.

  8. blf says

    Come to California. Visit Pea Soup Andersen’s. Enjoy.

    I actually second this — It’s the exception which proves the rule. My family used to live within a relatively short drive of the original location (Buellton), and tended to visit once-ish a year en route to a frequent vacation spot or other family members.

    You can get the stuff in cans nowadays (or at least you could last time I was in USAlienstan), but I have no idea how it compares to the freshly-made original. Or, for that matter, whether the other locations which have since opened compare.

  9. blf says

    I make bomb borscht. I love beets*

    *I typed “beats”…

    Shouldn’t that then be beat borscht, made with beat beets?

    (Do the beets have a safeword?)

  10. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Split pea soup is one of my favorite things in the world. And Marilove does, indeed, make awesome borscht.

  11. Al Dente says

    Georgia Sam @10

    Butterbeans aka lima beans aka disgusting pieces of nauseating shit are edible in an emergency. If the choice is between butterbeans and starvation I supposed one could choke down some butterbeans but only if real food was completely and utterly unattainable for several weeks.

    One of the meals provided in World War II to Vietnam era C-Rations was “ham and lima beans.” This entree was renamed by the troops: “ham and motherfuckers.”

  12. says

    I like lima beans. They have a hardy texture. I suppose they need to be prepared right, and most importantly, seasoned correctly. So maybe you’ve just had badly made lima beans, Al Dente. I suspect that war-time “ham and lima beans” is perhaps not the best example.

  13. inflection says

    Al Dente @15: Are butterbeans the same thing as lima beans where you come from? They’re very different things to me; butter beans are yellow, lima beans are green, and the butter beans are much larger.

    *wikipedias, Googles a little* Huh. Varieties of the same species. Reasonable. Didn’t know.

    But yeah, with a plate of either in front of me I’d definitely call them different things. And I’d eat multiple servings of either. Yum.

  14. opposablethumbs says

    It has orange things in it. The green stuff is fine, but those orange things … nope, those are for eating raw. (or in cakes). It’s just exactly precisely like gremlins: raw (or in cakes), they’re a wonderful food; boiled, they’re an abomination.
    How could you do that to a beautiful pea soup!?!?

  15. says

    From a True Believing Mormon commenting on the Salt Lake Tribune story referenced in comment #8:

    He will be accountable to God for his actions and I will leave it to him. Kitchen will be remembered by both sides. He wants to be famous, so be it. He will accountable to God.

    And to wash that mormon nastiness out of your mind, here’s another excerpt from the Derek Kitchen story:

    When they speak, they look to each other for cues, place a warm hand on one another’s shoulder, chest, knee. They find each others’ eyes when they talk about how in love they are. Anyone left watching feels as if, for a moment, they’ve forgotten anyone else is in the room.

    “He makes me a better person,” Sbeity said. “He really is my best friend. I’ve never gotten sick over the past years of spending 24/7 with him.”

    In 2013, the couple registered as domestic partners. It was the first time marriage even entered their minds.

    They always assumed they would have to leave Utah to wed, though they wanted to have and rear a family here.

    That changed in December, when a federal judge ruled that all Utahns — gay, straight or otherwise — have a “fundamental right to marry.” For 17 days, same-sex couples rushed county clerk offices across the state. More than 1,200 married.

    Suddenly, marriage seemed less of an abstract idea and more real. It wasn’t just a dream, Kitchen and Sbeity said. It was possible.

    At a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Kitchen got down on one knee and offered Sbeity a ring.

  16. blf says

    Compared to what normally passes for “food” in Scotland (albeit there are exceptions), you could eat the stone paving slabs (complete with a dog’s “business”) and it’d be the “greatest most awesome deliciousest”.

    This is, of course, the real reason Scotland wanted free… The food is better than in Ingerland.

    The Scottish do understand “water”, however…

  17. says

    Women who complain about sexual harassment on the job get fired:

    This past week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged Daimler Trucks North America with illegally firing April Holt the day after she complained about sexual harassment.

    According to the complaint, a male coworker asked Holt if he could borrow her wrench, which was in her back pants pocket. While she was bent over a truck on the assembly line, he reached into her pocket, taking the wrench while also rubbing her buttocks.

    Holt complained about the incident to her team leader, who relayed the complaint to the production supervisor. The very next day, the EEOC says, the company decided to fire her, and the commission says it was because of the complaint. If so, that would violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits retaliation against employees who complain about discrimination.

    The EEOC’s suit came just weeks after it charged Dollar General with a similar action. It says that Laveta Crawford was “subjected to a barrage of lewd comments and gestures” by a male assistant store manager on a daily basis. The harassment continued even after she complained, but after she filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, she was fired within a week. […]</blockquote

  18. says

    Coverage of the second Ebola patient in Texas:

    A health care worker in Dallas has been preliminarily diagnosed with Ebola, suggesting that the first case of the deadly virus has been transmitted on U.S. soil. The news has renewed questions over whether Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the facility that recently treated the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, is doing enough to stem the spread of the disease.

    The worker — who has not been identified by name — was one of the hospital employees who helped treat Thomas E. Duncan, the Liberian man who recently died of Ebola after traveling to Dallas. […]

    According to hospital officials, the infected individual helped treat Duncan during his second trip to the emergency room, when he was seriously ill. […]


  19. blf says

    Lynna, Are you posting in the correct-ish thread? The Kitchen story is sort-of, vaguely, related to pea soup, but I’m at a loss for any connection to sexual harassment…?

  20. says

    Trigger warning for sexual abuse.

    Coverage of more awfulness hiding in football culture in the USA.

    Days after a New Jersey high school’s football team cancelled its season over complaints of “serious bullying and harassment,” seven star players have been charged for the sexual assault and hazing of four teammates.

    According to one victim’s parent, upperclassmen at Sayreville High School would pin a freshman to the floor, lift him up, and shove a finger into the players rectum. One victim was kicked during his attack. Four such incidents took place mid to late September. […]

    Because they are minors, the names of the accused athletes have not been released, but the players are between 15 and 17 years old. “Three were charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint, and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration upon one of the juvenile victims. One of those defendants and four others were charged with various counts including aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot by participating in the attack of some of the victims,” […]

  21. blf says

    Not sure if I can embed videos into the comments?

    People have, but peas don’t… It’s nasty for people who have slow or otherwise limited intertubes connection. Nothing wrong with a link (as you did do), however.

  22. says

    Here’s an addition to our Republicans-saying-stupid-stuff file:

    Much of the Affordable Care Act must be defunded and millions of Americans must lose their health insurance, according to an opinion issued Tuesday by Judge Ronald A. White, an Oklahoma federal judge appointed to the bench by George W. Bush. [Yeah, more stupidity coming out of Oklahoma. What a reputation Oklahoma is getting — giving Texas and Alabama competition for Top Dunderheads.]

    White’s opinion reaches the same result reached by two Republican appeals court judges in a similar case, although that decision was later withdrawn by the full appeals court. To date, nine federal judges have considered this question of whether much of the law should be defunded. Only three — all of whom are Republicans — have agreed that it should be. […]

    One thing that immediately stands out in White’s opinion is just how thin his legal reasoning is. […] Republican judges who ordered Obamacare defunded, [claimed] that “the government offers no textual basis” in the Affordable Care Act itself for treating federally-run exchanges the same as those run by states. In fact, the government has identified numerous provisions of the law which cut against the argument that only some exchanges should provide subsidies.

    […] White […] relies entirely on a passage that supports the plaintiffs’ arguments while ignoring the much more prevalent statutory language that supports the government’s argument. [Republican cherry-picking, a skill they nurture.]

    […] Though White’s analysis is quite short, he devotes much of it to a lengthy quote by Professor Richard Epstein, a prominent conservative academic who agrees that Obamacare should be defunded. [OMG, conservative academics that can’t think straight.]

    […] Towards the end of his opinion, White claims that the reading he gives to the Affordable Care Act — a reading which assumes that the lawmakers who enacted this politically contentious law intended to give every Republican governor in the country the power to blow up one of its central functions in their state — is not “absurd” because “it could reflect the sort of compromise that attends legislative endeavor.” [Sheesh! “Compromise” — not likely. Evidence is against the judge here too.] […]


  23. blf says

    I assume the peas have eaten Lynna’s brain and the remaining husk is just now posting on auto-pilot…

  24. says

    Lynna, Are you posting in the correct-ish thread?

    Oh shit. Yes, I am in the wrong thread. I’m going to take a walk, have more coffee, and then stay the hell off the internet until I wake up.

    My apologies to everyone.

  25. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    There are three vegetables I don’t eat: okra=slime; lima beans=chalk only chalk tastes better; bell peppers=bad childhood conditioning. All else is fair game. Pea soup is divine, especially if a wee dram of sherry is added to the bowl.

  26. Alverant says

    I don’t have a garlic press (they’re hard to clean) so I have to chop it by hand or use a mini-food processor to turn it to liquid. How can I get the garlic small enough for food.

    I do recommend going to a farmer’s market for garlic. It may cost more but it will last longer. Seems like the ones I get at the local megamart start growing in the first few days.

    I make my own chicken stock too. I figure if we’re going to kill chickens for food the least we can do is use as much as we can. I save the bones from buffalo wings, freeze them and when I have enough I put them in my stock pot with some herbs, spices, and some veggie trimmings (mostly woody but not dry ends of asparagus, those white-ish green centers of celery, stems from hearty greens and parsley I have growing in a pot on my porch). It’s a long project but it’s worth it to control what goes into your stock which I use for many things.

  27. blf says

    I have no peas in my house. I do have horses nearby.

    Ah, so that is how the peas will dispose of the now-brainless husk…

  28. opposablethumbs says

    The Scottish do understand “water”, however…

    Only water of life, please, thankyouverymuch.

  29. opposablethumbs says

    Lots of languages call the local favourite distilled alcoholic beverage burning water or water of life (or “little water”). I only know a handful of relatively local examples, though – bet the Horde know lots of non Indo-European ones too?

  30. blf says

    I just chop up the garlic with a knife. Yes, I have no problems with medium-ish, or even large-ish, or larger, chunks of garlic. (Doesn’t scare the peas away, unfortunately.)

    I also make my own chicken stock, but rarely add anything more than MUSHROOMS!, garlic (and/or shallots), and black pepper to the slowly-simmering carcass.

  31. estraven says

    I love split pea soup, as does the spouse. We make it in a pressure cooker to cut down on the time needed to get that rich puree. If we have a leftover ham bone (rare, and only after a large party), that goes in and is heavenly. Vegetarian is almost as good. Mmmmm no matter how you look at it . . .

  32. says


    You can always crush instead of mince. Peel garlic clove, place on cutting board, take a large knife and lay the blade flat over top, bring the palm of your hand down (carefully) with great force onto the blade (I said carefully right?). Voila. You should have a mash that will break up in a stew/soup/sauce.

  33. says

    That pea soup looks delicious. I wish I could eat something like that but I have to be careful about what legumes I put into my mouth.

    I already found out the hard way that I can’t eat split peas and I’m not sure how many other kinds of peas are likely to have the same effect. :(

  34. Lofty says

    Wot, you slice your carrots? They should be whole, to slink around like evil submarines in a pea soup harbor. Better still, a whole pie.

  35. ragdish says

    So I guess your new name is Peas Z Myers. Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Ho! Ho! Ho! He! He! He! Ha! Ha! Ha! Oops! I pea’d my pants! Get it I pea’d instead of pee’d! Hahahahahaha…….times infinity! But seriously I think I did pee my pants.

  36. magistramarla says

    I learned from watching Rachael Ray that one of those hand-held microplane graters are wonderful for grating garlic into food. I also use it got grate onions into meatloaf mixture o into hamburger meat for that lovely flavor of the onion and juice without the big chunks.
    The hand-held graters are available at any kitchen store, such as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

  37. Rich Woods says

    Peas should be marrowfatted and/or mushy, not souped, and those baby carrot U-boats look like they were vomited forth from a tin. However the onion and parsnip soup I have simmering away in the kitchen right now is of the [non-existent] gods. I may even indulge myself and dribble a spoonful of honey (plus more black pepper) into it before it’s finished.

  38. blf says

    pea soup suffers from cold fusion.

    What, Fails to emit deadly radiation, or Attracts nutters?

  39. Al Dente says

    magistramarla @49

    Grating garlic and onions is the easiest way to get them into stews and soups.

  40. Duckbilled Platypus says

    No, no, no – not sure what you’re cooking, but that is definitely not snert as it was bestowed upon us by the gods. Leave this one to the Dutch, will you? The added carrot is blasphemous, besides vegetables in any good pea soup should never be recognizable as such. I also spot vital ingredients missing. There should definitely be copious amounts of greasy meat (pork sausage, ham and rib) bobbing near the surface, and you’re supposed to have a slice of dark rye bread with a bacon slice on the side (pigs certainly did draw the short straw on pea soup). It should also be difficult to stir, and it should be hard to stop the spoon once it has momentum. The whole thing should look like it has been recently thrown up by an omnivorous animal three times your size.

    And it’s WAY too early to be eating snert – you’re not supposed to do so unless you’ve spent half a day trying to ice-skate on a frozen ditch, alone in the fields, while a frosty wind was piercing your face with snowflakes, and your ears, fingers and toes have all gone numb. That’s when it’s at its best. Assuming you can still hold the spoon.

  41. blf says

    Of course it eats the spoon. It’s peas!
    Whatdidya expect, paintings of sunflowers in southern France?

  42. Duckbilled Platypus says

    Well the slightly discomforting thing is that it’s the only dish that burps after eating a spoon.

    Compute error: van Gogh reference caught but not understood.

  43. blf says

    I may be misrecalling, but wasn’t van Gogh Dutch? Like snert. All slightly strange, in a fascinating way.

  44. opposablethumbs says

    cooked carrots are devilspawn.
    Raw ones however, are lovely.

    Tony! I knew I liked you already. And now I see that also, too, as well, we are on the same side wrt the Great Carrot Question! O what can be so sweet and crunchy as a fresh young carrot, peeled and immediately nommed? (psst – the schismatic exception – grated, in carrot cake – yes/no?)

  45. Duckbilled Platypus says

    Indeed he was, but I guess I was looking for too much behind the comment. He and snert only share common ancestry.

    Strange and fascinating is certainly befitting snert although some people I know would add ‘suspicious’.

  46. says

    Oh yes, a hambone needs to go in pea soup while simmering, even if there’s no meat contribution from it. I prefer to grate the carrots into it, and then once it’s almost done take about half of the soup and puree it, then return it to the pot. And at the end, it needs a small grating of fresh nutmeg stirred in. Ahhh…lovely.

  47. Alverant says

    @Ibis and magistramarla
    I have one of those pan scrapers that works much better than a knife. It’s bigger and no edge plus the handle is positioned so that you can lay it flush on the ground (ie the handle isn’t centered). I can put my weight into crushing the cloves and remove the paper afterwards. But I have to do it one at a time. The problem is getting all the paper and finding the stems to cut off. A micrograter may help, but I do 5 or 6 cloves at once (when I make things it’s usually for several meals) but I imagine it would be harder to work with half-crushed cloves. But I’ll keep my eye out for on of them to see if it might help. Thanks.

  48. ledasmom says

    The only problem with microplane graters with regard to garlic is getting the garlic flavor out before using your grater on lemon peels to make curd. Personally I mince: a whack to skin it and thirty seconds’ hard chopping – more like a rocking motion really.
    I love split-pea soup but abominate fresh cooked peas; raw, off the vine, if young enough, is delicious.
    In a hearty bean soup, sliced cabbage, which becomes nearly undetectable with cooking, is nice, though bean soup with cabbage is probably not for those who object to farting.
    Long-cooked in vegetable soup, fresh limas or edamame take on a texture rather like potatoes. I also like to supplement the potato in pot-pies with some cubed turnip, which becomes less turnipy with cooking in the broth and just adds to the flavor of the gravy.
    Due to a slightly sticky “a” key I originally typed “potto in pot pies”. I do not put potto in my pot pies.

  49. Duckbilled Platypus says

    … Nutmeg… Carrot… I just… Ugh.

    All of this could have been avoided if we hadn’t lost Manhattan to the British.

  50. cicely says

    *gesture of aversion*
    Yup, that certainly does look diagnostic of diabolical possession.

  51. Rumtopf says

    My favourite way to do garlic is to roast an entire bulb or two of the stuff with a touch of olive oil. After that the cloves are easily mashed with a fork(add the now garlic-flavoured oil it was roasted with!) and you can keep it in a little tub in the fridge to add to dishes as required. It’s pretty good as it is on toast, too. Mmmm.

  52. Georgia Sam says

    Al Dente @15:

    Ah yes, ham & lima bean C-Rations. I remember them well. They weren’t my favorite, but they were OK. Some of my buddies hated them so much that they would trade me their ham & lima beans plus whatever sweets they had for any other kind of C-Ration “main course.” I got a lot of canned fruit that way.

  53. chigau (違う) says

    Roast whole bulbs of garlic in a slow oven.
    When they’re done, snip the tops off individual clove and squeeze the garlicmash onto a cracker.
    Everyone in your group must eat of the garlic.
    That way you all stink together.
    Outsiders can suck it up.

  54. says

    Lima beans…shudder.
    That’s another one I never enjoyed as a child. My parents would often pair lima beans with meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I’d try to mask the taste and texture of the lima beans with the meatloaf and masher, but it never worked.

  55. Lofty says


    What, Fails to emit deadly radiation

    Precisely. Haven’t you seen how cold pea soup absorbs all incident enthusiasm? I swear you could entomb Chernobyl in the stuff without risk, that’s if you can figure how to chisel it out of its pot.

  56. katybe says

    You can puree peeled garlic on a plastic card with raised bits – I bought one a few years back which has little lumps all over it, which is a bit quicker, but the inventor of it claimed he started out by using the impressed letters/numbers on a credit card. The important thing for cleaning is to not let it dry, but put a small squirt of washing up liquid on it and then rub it between your fingers under warm running water once you’ve wiped the garlic off into your pan. Absolutely no lumps of garlic and even more flavour gets into the food.

  57. estraven says

    I love comment threads about food, no matter how I feel about the food or people’s preferences! More food threads, please.

  58. kevinalexander says

    Everyone in your group must eat of the garlic.
    That way you all stink together.
    Outsiders can suck it up.

    I was with friends in a Greek resto when someone ordered skordalia. The server asked ‘Does everyone want skordalia? Nobody gets it unless everyone wants it’

  59. mjmiller says

    place clove(s) on cutting board
    place flat of broad kitchen knife over garlic and whack with palm
    remove covering paper
    cut off end “nib”
    sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt
    use flat of kitchen knife and with repeated pressing/pushing motions crush garlic into paste
    the more processed the garlic the stronger the flavor, ie sliced = mild, crushed = pronounced, paste=strong
    P.S. roasted garlic (though delicious) does not imbue the same flavor as raw