Eat for Eight Bucks: Split Pea Soup and Simplest Slaw

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

1 onion: $0.50
4 carrots: $1.00
2 medium red boiling potatoes: $0.50
1 pound split peas: $1.38
1/2 green cabbage (pro-rated): $2.00

Pantry items: Garlic, olive oil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, stock or water, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar.

Total cost (for 4 portions): $5.38

Ina Garten's split pea soup is one of the things I made on a regular basis when I was first cooking for myself. It is extremely thick, somewhat like porridge, and very simply flavored. I love it just the way it is, but as you can see from the photo, visually it might benefit from a simple garnish of croutons or diced ham. (I'll also admit I'm glad I don't have to work through the leftovers myself any more. The soup thickens as it sits in the fridge, and no matter how much you like it, it's hard to get enthusiastic about it on the third or even fourth day.)

This week to counter the soup's stodginess I improvised a bright little slaw, something I never would have had the courage to do in my first apartment's kitchen. If you have parsley or dill around, you might chop a bit of that and toss it in. Make a batch of cookies or have an orange for dessert and you'll be quite content.

Split Pea Soup

About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Split Pea Soup and Simplest Slaw

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About This Recipe

Yield:4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 pound dried split green peas (about 2 cups)
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and sliced as thin as possible

Procedures

  1. 1

    Heat the olive oil in your soup pot over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic with the oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 3/4 of the split peas, and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft (I usually go 10 or even 20 minutes longer to take care of the most stubborn peas). Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper and serve hot.

  2. 2

    Simplest Slaw

  3. 3

    Whisk the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Toss with the cabbage. Taste for balance and add more vinegar, salt, or pepper if needed.

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