Dinner Improv

And now, for the main eventpresenting the star of the show….

the tomatoes were from our garden, now frozen

Old vegetables?

Well, yes.  It was dinnertime–again.  It rears its ugly head, well, every night.  Once again, I was caught with my  apron off.  What to cook for dinner?

It was a dark and stormy night.  Why not soup?  Split pea soup to be exact.  We had some of those. There were even the remains of a hunk of ham from one of last week’s meals.

We’d had that ham as the featured entrée.  We had it the next day in ham sandwiches. One night we even snacked on it as an appetizer with good, homemade mustard.  Soup was its final incarnation.

Honestly, soup doesn’t have to be the end of the line, but it often is.  That’s why it’s a good improvisational, or throw together meal.

Tonight’s Split Pea Soup

  • carrots, diced
  • celery, diced
  • onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • vegetable or chicken broth, 4 cups or more if you like thinner soup
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • beet greens (or some other type of leafy green), chopped
  • ham, diced
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup split peas

I realize there are no measurements for anything except the split peas and broth. That’s why it’s improvisational.  I used everything on the plate above with the exception of the biggest tomato.  Use what you have.  You won’t need a lot.

Saute the first three ingredients in oil for about 10 minutes.

Add split peas and water or broth, tomatoes and ham.

Bring to boil.  Then cover and simmer on low for the first half hour.

Uncover and cook until the peas are creamy.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss in chopped greens in the last half hour of cooking.  If you think you might get resistance to greens in the soup, chop it smaller so it’s less noticeable.  It works at my house…

Serve with crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches and sliced fruit.  Feel the love. You’re eating healthy, it tastes divine, and you’ve earned a merit badge for kitchen economy.  Bon appetite!

What will you improvise tonight?