Sam, one of the Port Clubbers, is always raving about his split pea soup.
"Oh," he bellows with his arms outstretched, "it's so good!"
He won't give me the recipe though. He says it's not really a recipe at all, that it's too simple, that it's something only he really likes. All I've gotten out of him is that he cooks the legumes in vegetable stock. Beyond that, he's all hush-hush.
So, I had split peas on the brain when I saw The Well Seasoned Cook's "My Legume Love Affair" event and decided to try something with those little green buggers.
Sam's soup? A possibility. But, the smooth green soup just didn't appeal to me. It seemed too...
... (you know what's coming) ...
... (wait for it) ...
I was thinking more of a split pea stew or something. Curry sounded good.
However, I didn't find any recipes that had just what I was looking for. So, I just made one up.
Here's what I did:
I put a package of dry split peas in the crockpot with one onion, two carrots, & two cloves of garlic (all roughly chopped). I added one can of chicken stock (fat free, low-sodium) & enough water to just cover everything (about 6 cups). I also added some salt, pepper, dried oregano, & 1 tablespoon of curry powder (though, I think it could have used more).
I set the crockpot to high and let it cook 4 hours, until the peas were tender. (Note: I did have to add about a cup or two more water after a couple hours).
Meanwhile, I mixed one pound of ground veal (lamb was my first choice, but the supermarket didn't have any) with 1/2 finely chopped onion, 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese, salt, pepper, & dried oregano. I shaped meatballs about the size of a golf ball, browned them in a non-stick stick with just a bit of olive oil, then finished them in the oven (350 degree for about 10 minutes).
I put a few meatballs in a bowl, ladled the split pea stew on top, then sprinkled on some shredded parmesan.
The result? A pretty tasty supper!
My first attempt with split peas was just okay...good but not something I'd make again. I think I cooked them too long, as they were breaking down into mush.
My first homemade meatballs, however, were very juicy and flavorful, with a nice tangy kick from the feta (and really good the next day with a bit of marinara sauce on top!).