Category Archives: Recipes

Pressure-cooker split pea soup

Getting a jump on my resolution to use the pressure cooker more often, I tried split pea soup in it today. It was a success. Josh had three and a half bowls and wound up hunched over the nearly-empty pot in the kitchen, scraping out the last little bit with a spatula. I bet he’s sorry he can’t get his whole head into the pot.

I went through our cookbooks and found that we had recipes for all kinds of fancy-pants pea soups, but no plain old vegetarian split pea soup. This is plain old vegetarian split pea soup. You don’t really need the bacon salt, but it adds a subtle smokiness. Just don’t get crazy with it or you’ll easily oversalt the soup. Then you’d have to add a potato. Which is pretty tasty, actually.

Split pea soup

1.5 smallish-medium onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 1/3 cups split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 1-qt package of “No Chicken” broth
a hefty grind of black pepper
a very small dash of Bacon Salt (no kidding, it’s vegetarian)
2 bay leaves
~1 heaping tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste, but don’t be stingy here)
balsamic vinegar

In the pressure cooker base, sweat the onions in a little neutral oil while you chop the carrots and celery. Add those, and keep it on medium while you chop the garlic. Add that and cook until all the vegetables are soft, translucent and perhaps slightly touched with brown here and there.

Remove the vegetables to a bowl and add the split peas and veggie broth. Bring the peas up to high pressure for about six minutes, then let the pressure decline naturally. Add the vegetables back and simmer on super-low heat with hot pepper flakes, bay leaves, bacon salt, and pepper.

Each eater might want to try a splosh of balsamic vinegar on their soup. (Who taught me to finish pea soup with balsamic vinegar? Whoever you are, thanks – you were right.)

Pickled carrots

I made about two gallons of pickled carrots with jalapeños and onions this afternoon, mostly using this recipe. I doubled all the ingredients but the carrots, because I wasn’t sure how many carrots the recipe called for. I used about 4.75 pounds total (after slicing). I’m not entirely sure how many jalapeños I used, either. Slightly less by volume than there were carrots, I know. Let’s say around 30.

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The brine and onions are pink because some of the carrots I used were purple carrots, and the color leached out of them during cooking. The batch filled our white stockpot, which I guess is two gallons. I gave half to my folks and kept half for us. It’s sitting in the fridge now, getting tastier. It should be ready to eat tomorrow, but it’ll probably develop the best flavor over the course of the next few weeks. If it lasts that long. I do like hot pickled carrots.

Next up: firecracker carrots using these weird white carrots they had at Whole Foods.