June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian
Split Pea Soup
Hungarian pea soup is so thick and hearty you can spoon it up like a porridge. Sweet and flavorful, I have tasted many other pea soups, but this family recipe is most satisfying and memorable. This soup or porridge is full of sweet carrots, parsnips and parsley leaves and roots, onions, yellow peas and ham.
Winter and spring were always the times to make hearty pea soups. All the dried peas stored from the previous harvest were dwindling in number and the stored carrots, parsnips and parsley root were becoming sweet as they lost moisture in the root bin. As a child I can remember dreading having to go down into the root cellar which was cold and dark, and full of spider webs, to collect the roots for peas soup. My father had dug out the root cellar under our house in a neighborhood of Chicago bungalows that were built right after the Chicago Fire. It was inconceivable to any European immigrant not to have a dark, cold place to store food. Besides, roots and potatoes, we stored bushels of apples, squash, onions, crocks of sauerkraut, and home canned food and dried smoked Hungarian sausage.
Regards, June Meyer.
Wash and drain yellow peas and place in soup pot with 3 quarts
of cold water.
Add ham or pork butt, along with vegetables and spices and optional barley.
Bring water to a boil, turn down heat and slowly cook until all veggies and peas are soft.
Taste for seasoning, and now add required salt. (Ham and pork butt are salty, do not add salt at the beginning of cooking).
Cooking will take about an hour and a half.
If the soup is not as thick as you like it, cook it a little longer. The soup should be thick, like a peas porridge.
Serve in a large bowl with a slice of ham or pork butt in each serving. Add a crusty bread and salad for a satisfying one dish meal.
Makes 6 servings.