When we lived in California, we made a day trip to Solvang, a replica of a Bavarian town in the hills above Santa Barbara not only to visit the town, but try the Pea Soup. Andersen's Inn is known for their Split Pea Soup and it was just as good as mom's, but again, it had ham bits in it.
So, this is what I came up with--Liquid Smoke and replaced 5 cups of the water with vegetable broth.
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 T unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
3 cups dried split peas, washed and picked over for stones & debris
2 large carrots, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. dried Thyme
2 bay leaves
8 cups of liquid (I used 5 cups vegetable broth + 3 cups water)
3/4 to 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes*, peeled, chopped to 1/2" dice (about 1 cup)
In a large Dutch Oven, melt the butter and add the onion and salt. Saute' over medium heat until the onion is soft, then add the garlic. Add the peas, thyme, bay leaves, Liquid Smoke, vegetable broth and water. With the lid off-set a bit, cook over medium heat until boiling. Lower heat to medium/low and continue to cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes and cook another 30 minutes.
*I realize that potatoes might be unusual, but my mother would put a few in to help "bind" the ingredients. I love the texture of the soup with them in it.
Preheat oven to 375F-degrees. Melt 3 T unsalted butter a 10" x 15" baking sheet, line with parchment, then, butter parchment sheet.
In a large bowl mix:
1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 T fresh chives
5 - 8 dashes Tabasco Sauce
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
I mixed the dry ingredients first with my favorite flat whisk that I bought when we were in England back in 1992. I've never seen one here in the United States, but I find it a necessity when I'm making up "quick breads" and muffins.
Add the chives and Tabasco, if using and stir once again. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the cornbread is set.
Remove to a rack and cool before slicing into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes back on the baking sheet and melt an additional 2-3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter. Dab the butter on the cornbread cubes.
Bake another 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. As an added bonus for my hubby, I made some veggie sausage balls so the meal would be complete. All that was needed was a salad.
We're still behind on our fall color and we haven't had rain or snow like the Mid-west got, but creating an autumn meal made me feel like the season is upon us. Enjoy!