Sunday, January 23, 2011


I've visited California on a number of occasions and, while I'm definitely a New Yorker at heart, I have some indelible memories, mostly of good meals eaten on the road. A standout in my mind was lunch at Pea Soup Anderson's. I know it was somewhere between Los Angeles and San Diego, but I'm not real sure where. I remember the building, sort of a windmill, and the wonderful pea soup they served. With a juicy ham bone and package of spiral ham in the freezer, I'd clipped a recipe from Food Network magazine to try (Deb of Kahakai Kitchen beat me to it, so look here for her post). Then while visiting another of my favorite blogs, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, I saw Marg's post for Anderson's pea soup and thought, "Oh, boy, I wonder if it's the one I'm thinking of?" (check out Marg's post here). In the end, I used part of Marg's and threw in my ham bone and ham instead of farmer's sausage, which I love but can't get here in New York.

2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 juicy ham bone
1 pkg green split peas
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 lb ham, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Place the bay leaf and water in the pot and bring to a boil. Add the split peas and ham bone and boil hard for 30 minutes. Add the hambone and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, onion, and thyme, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Add the diced ham and season to taste with salt and pepper.
It was incredibly difficult not to eat this soup as soon as I'd made it (I'd prepared it for the next day's dinner). It's thick and sweet with just the right amount of saltiness from the ham. Though the ingredients are very little different from what I've used in the past (check here for yet another recipe), this was by far the most delicious and satisfying split pea soup I've ever made. I prefer it to the one I make in the slow cooker and really think the hard boiling stage helps produce a soup that is just thick enough while producing fully cooked peas. Next trip to Lancaster, I'll definitely pick up some farmer's sausage to try it with.


  1. Mmmm. I love split pea soup - it's one of my favorite soups. Your recipe looks similar to my grandma's recipe...I'll have to make this soon. Maybe I'll get all the ingredients and make it on the next snow day.

    Jess :-)

  2. OK, I am in love with your soup tureen. ;-) The soup looks delicious too--marking it to try when I have another craving for pea soup!

  3. I thought these were lentils in color, split pea is my favorite i have never seen them this color... must be the ham... wow it looks amazingly rich!

  4. Tonight I bought the ingredients for pea soup, tomorrow's dinner, and was surprised to see the recipe here! I've never used thyme in mine, have to try!

  5. I love split pea soup in every variation and would've had an equally hard time putting the soup up for another night's dinner. Looks delicious and I love soup tureen too!

  6. When I was a child every summer we drove from Oregon to Southern California to visit relatives and always stopped at Pea Soup Anderson for lunch. I'll definitely try this soup recipe. It sure will bring back a lot of memories.

  7. Pegasuslegend, the soup is actually green. It's my poor photography skills that have it looking like lentils.

  8. I'm not the biggest fan of pea soup, but I haven't had Andersen's yet. And Pea Soup Andersen's is actually quite a bit north of LA, between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.


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