It's been a while since I've blogged and I don't have any fantastic excuses except, well, life.
I've felt less than inspired lately, I'll admit, because my normally strained budget has taken a major hit since the holidays.
My second job has pretty much hibernated for the winter and my regular paycheck was cut in half this month due to my employers year-end correction to tax miscalculations. Of course I don't want to be in trouble with the IRS, but eating a decent meal would be nice too!
Obviously no one's starving to death, but we have had to cut back in ways most people wouldn't actually believe if I wrote them all out.
Enough of the "poor-me" story though, I'm still rich in countless ways! I still have family and friends and hands to type with; Sharing warm, cozy meals and recipe ideas with family and friends makes me feel even better.
Things will be looking up soon; bills will be caught up, paychecks will be back to normal and cupboards will be stocked by the end of the month. Until then, enjoy a few of my go-to 'empty-pantry' favorites that are super-inexpensive but still yummy, filling and nutritious.
We should all make no-frills, basic meals like this more often!
1 cup chopped carrot
2 stalks chopped celery
- - Use whatever vegetables you have in the 'fridge.
Turnips, sweet potatoes or parsnips work well, and they do NOT have to be in great condition, this is a great way to use up the older, dried out or tough, starting-to-wilt, ratty veggies; Obviously, as long as they aren't actually starting to spoil, mold or rot.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound dried split peas
6 cups liquid - any combination broth and water that you prefer (I often just use water and season with random herbs)
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-large, heavy-bottomed pot, saute vegetables in oil until tender-crisp.
Add the split peas and broth/liquid to cover ingredients; season with salt and pepper. (Or put everything in a crock pot).
On the stove, cover, bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and cook until there are no peas left, just a green liquid, 2 hours, stirring from time to time.
In a crock-pot, cook on high for 4 hours or until done as described above.
You may need to add more water as the soup continues to cook.
Once the soup is a green liquid remove from heat, and let stand so it will thicken. (Optional) Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with lemon zest.
Serve with toasted sourdough bread.