Tonight we'll be eating split pea soup. I may need to apologise about this to one or more people this evening when the contents of the dinner pot are made clear but it just IS a split pea soup day. When I opened the cupboards this morning the first thing I looked for were split peas. Finding none, I grabbed the sad little bag of leftover Rio Zape beans from last winter and proceeded to look for the delicious Carne en su jugo recipe on the Rancho Gordo website. I should say that my beans are actually from Tierra Farms who has a farm stand just down the street and who sells delicious produce and beans with which I have made Rancho Gordo's carne en su jugo.
But I didn't have enough time to make the meat and bean soup and anyway, what I really wanted was split pea soup. 30 Whole Foods dollars later (I also had to buy milk and beer, both necessities.) I am standing in a kitchen that smells intoxicatingly of, well, peas. It's an earthy, legumey, slightly muddy and warm smell that would be made better only by the addition of a ham hock, which was left out in this instance due to, well, lack of ham hock. It's a smell I remember from my childhood and adolescence and young adult-hood. We would sometimes make huge pots of split pea soup at work and the smell, while hardly forceful, nonetheless made itself known throughout the restaurant and the day. I love a house that smells like bread baking or chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven, but I feel at home when the kitchen is steamy with split peas.
And then there's the color. I've always been drawn to it, especially flecked with orange carrots and black pepper, but the green itself if beautiful. It's not grey and it's not bright but it's the nubbly green of a knitted blanket that's perhaps a little tattered around the edges and has had all the newness worn off long ago but is the one you always pull out of the closet to wrap around yourself on a cold evening with warm tea and a book.
Tomorrow night I'll make pasta with Santi's sausages and homemade marinara Kelsey lovingly put up during the summer and everyone will be sated and happy, including myself. But some nights you simply have to cook for yourself and on those nights, isn't it nice if it's something as easy as split pea soup.