It is COLD outside!!!! What better time to make a nice big pot of soup. One of my favorite winter-time soups is Split Pea Soup. It is hearty, warming, inexpensive, and very tasty. Most recipes have ham, sausage, or some other icky pig parts in it. (The vegetarian in me speaks out here)
Here is a very yummy vegetarian version of pea soup. Start it about 6 hours before you want to eat.
In a large soup pot, bring to an-almost-boil, and then turn down to the lowest possible setting, skimming off any foam that may have formed, simmering for 3-1/2 hours:
- 3 cups dry split peas
- 8 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
At the 3-1/2 hour mark, in a separate pot on medium heat, place 2 tablespoons of oil, and add, in this order:
- 2 descent-sized onions, minced
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 large stocks celery, diced
- 6 large carrots, diced
- 2 large potatoes, quartered and sliced thinly (I like red potatoes, scrubbed, with the skins on)
After the onions begin to soften, add 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer until all vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes), then add to the pot of peas. Continue to simmer for another hour.
About 15 minutes before serving, add:
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
***This soup will thicken when it refridgerated, so if you have leftovers, add a little water to the pot when you reheat it to desired consistency.
Eggplant Parmesian is one of my favorite dishes. Unfortunately, if you go to a restaraunt, the dish is usually laden with grease, due to the way they cook it. The eggplant acts like a sponge, and absorbs the oil which it is fried in during the first step. I always left the restaurant with a stomach ache, and stopped ordering this dish when I went out to eat.
I have discovered a better, healthier way to make this dish.
EGGPLANT PARMESIAN (approximately 6 servings)
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup flour (I use soy, you can use what you prefer)
- 1 cup bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs…I like to use sourdough Wasa Crispbread)
- 1-1/2 quarts Marinara Sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup grated parmesian cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. (Optional: Some people think eggplant is bitter. If this is you, sprinkle each slice with salt, let stand 10 minutes, and wipe off juice that results.)
- Place flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls.
- Coat eggplant slices in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
- Place them on a cookie sheet.
- Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, or until soft when you insert a fork.
- In 13×9 pan, cover bottom of pan with sauce.
- spread egglant to cover entire pan.
- Cover with sauce.
- Add layer of mozzarella.
- Sprinkle parmesian over mozzarella.
- Repeat , ending with cheese on top.
Cover pan with foil, cook for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil, cook for additional 10 minutes so cheese browns slightly.
Remove from oven, let cool slightly before eating.