Comfort food means different things to different people. To some it’s macaroni and cheese while others go for chinese take-out. It’s the thing that picks you up on a bad day and immediately brings you back to your childhood. Seen Ratatouille? Yup, the ending scene shows comfort food as it’s best.
While my mother is a fabulous cook, many of my comfort foods came from when my grandmother made it for me the first time. Roast chicken was something I always asked for when I came home from college my freshman and sophomore years.
Pasta with ground beef and salt is another one. Simple, very. Cheap and delicious too! Boil pasta (1#) in salted water. While that’s happening, brown ground beef (#1) in a pan until it’s cooked through to your taste- I still like mine when it’s a little pink. When both pasts are done, plate some pasta in a bowl, top it with round beef and then sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top. Yummy!
Now, both of those aren’t very vegetarian friendly. While I’m not a vegetarian, I do focus my meals on more vegetables and fruit and do buy organically when I do buy meat. (Yes, it’s more pricey so meat is on my menus less frequently and of better quality for my body and environment).
However, I am going to share one of my favorite go-to comfort foods that can be vegetarian friendly- split pea soup. It’s warming, filling and a one-pot wonder. Don’t we all like that??? My grandmother used to make this randomly and I’d get sooo excited when she did. She’d serve it into bowls that were shaped like different fruits and vegetables and mine was always the grape bowl.
Since then, my mom changed it a little bit and then I changed it. I made it last night and here’s my new version.
Split Pea Soup (serves 6-8)
1# green split peas, rinsed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 packet of fajita or chili seasoning (I used Simply Organic brand)
1 smoked turkey breast (I found this organically at Whole Foods, but you can omit it)
1/2 cup of barley (optional)
1. Rinse the split peas in a fine-mesh colander to remove any grit.
2. Put the rinsed split peas, carrots, onion, and turkey breast into a dutch oven or a big, wide pot.
3. Fill the pot with water until it covers all the ingredients with 1″ of water.
4. in a small bowl, add packet of fajita or chili seasoning with some water. Whisk until it’s blended together and add this to the pot.
5. Put the lid on and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 2 hours until the peas are completely broken down.
What’s your favorite comfort food?