Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky….

Like London fog...

Stormy weather,

Since my man and I ain’t together,

Keeps raining all the time….

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I’ve noticed that one of the things about hitting my late 20’s is that, if you’re not married but are currently dating, there are no good phrases to use to describe your…person.  “Significant other” is a mouthful.  “Special someone” just sounds silly.  “Boyfriend” makes you sound like you’re a college freshman or something, and that you just got his fraternity pin.  If anyone has any suggestions (if anyone actually reads this flog, that is), I’d love to hear them.
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Anyway, my “…person,” E., was in town last week.  He isn’t normally in the area, but he had to be here last week.  I was so happy to have him back that I was almost bursting.  I didn’t realize how much I miss him until I had him back.
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Sigh.  But, you know, he had to go back home eventually.  And, not to invite any sappy metaphors or anything, but pretty much as soon as he left, the weather turned from lovely warm pre-spring days to…well, it SNOWED again yesterday.  I mean, jeebus.
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So now that I’m back in my lonely cocoon, I’m using every tool in my arsenal to avoid falling into a deep funk.  Archer episodes on hulu to make me laugh (if you haven’t watched this yet, you should).  Trying to keep busy at work with patients.  And making split pea soup.

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I think split pea soup gets a bad rap.  No, it doesn’t smell the greatest, and the color can be a little off-putting, but who cares.  It is easy to make, and it tastes savory and comforting.  Plus, if you make a lot of it, it just gets better as you reheat it.  And reheating it is easy, which means a bowl of comfort to chase the lonely doldrums away is close at hand.
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Split Pea Soup
There are a lot of split pea soup recipes, but I think I went off of the one from Williams-Sonoma’s website.  I did change it a bit, though, as I tweaked it the many times I’ve made it.
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I use kielbasa in my soup because I like it, it’s cheap, and it’s readily available.  I know that some people, however, describe soup with kielbasa as “soup with a bunch of hot dog slices in it.”  While I fail to see why that’s a problem, if you can get some andouille sausage, that’d be good too.  Basically, anything porky and smoky would be perfect.
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The quantities are just loose guidelines.  It’s pretty hard to ruin this soup.

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced (doesn’t have to be finely)

2 – 2.5 cups split peas, picked over, rinsed and drained (I use green split peas; I hear that the yellow ones are too sweet, but have no personal experience)

12 ounces kielbasa, sliced into disks or diced

4 cups chicken stock

4 cups water

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

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1. Chop the onion.  Put the chopped onion in a large pot.  Slice the carrots and celery, and chop the garlic.  Add the oil to the onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.

2. Add the split peas, the stock, salt and pepper, and 4 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot so the peas do not scorch, until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes.  If you notice that the liquid level is starting to drop too low, you can add more water as needed.

3. Remove from the heat. Using a handheld stick blender (which is what I have) or standing blender, coarsely puree the soup, making sure to leave some texture. Return to medium-low heat, add the sausage and cook until the sausage is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle parmesan or pecorino on top, if you want.

4. When you pull the leftover soup out of the fridge, you will see that it has set into an unattractive blob.  (Like I said, not the beauty queens of soup.)  Just add a touch of water and heat it – it will liquefy again.

Summary:

Cost: $.  This is a pretty cheap soup.  The most expensive ingredient will be the sausage.

Active time: **.  There’s a total of 20-25 minutes of active time, depending on how fast a chopper you are.  Since you’re going to whirl everything into a soup, no need to cut the vegetables into pretty cubes or anything.

Cleanup: *.  One cutting board, and one pot.  SWEET.

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