Split Pea Soup and Homemade Artisan Bread in a Dutch Oven

Today I glanced through the kitchen pantry, brainstorming ideas for dinner.  I spied a bag of split peas. Like most of the country and Canada right now, it's freezing cold, so split pea soup seemed like a delicious idea. I just had to make sure I could make it from our food storage items.

Store Items and Substitutions.....

Split Peas... check.
Water, ok.  Salt and pepper, yes.  Dried Marjoram, yes.
Onion... yes!  I still have a handful in the onion bin - one was starting to sprout, so he gets used for sure.
Ham hocks or meaty bone.  Sigh.  No.  But I do have ham deli meat in the freezer and I know I have Spam in the long term storage! 
Celery, potatoes and carrots?
I have that large #10 can of dehydrated celery (I previously posted about) bought in 2012. 
I don't want to use up my canned potatoes as they are going quickly and I really had no idea we'd be using them in 2024.  I do have mashed potato flakes and dehydrated potato hash browns in storage though!  Mashed flakes will do.
Carrots?  Yes.  Thanks to 10 lbs. fresh carrots that someone couldn't use and gave to one of my young adult daughters, who also couldn't/wouldn't use them, she had brought them to my house last month and I gladly accepted them.  I have fresh carrots! 

A basic recipe, repeated in similar versions in almost every church cookbook or organization cookbook you find.  Tiny differences in the water amount (2 quarts or 3 quarts) and the celery, potatoes and carrots could be anywhere from 3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cup.  Other than that, pretty much the same.  And then just add 1 cup of cooked ham or pieces at the end.  I also added 1 T chicken base (bouillon) since I didn't have ham base and I didn't have a ham bone to add a lot of flavor.

One thing I did DIFFERENT this time... made it in my Instant Pot!  I will gladly do this every time from here on out. After rinsing and going through the split peas I did NOT precook or boil them.  I put them in the instant pot with 2.5 qt. water.  Added the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the ham and the mashed potato flakes.  Sealed it and set it to pressure cook for 30 minutes. Let it set for 5 minutes before releasing the seal.  Added the diced/chopped spam (ham) and stirred enough about 3/4 cup mashed potato flakes to make it thick and creamy, the way we prefer it.

While it cooked I used my 'daily bread' from the fridge to plop into a round on parchment and heated my Dutch Oven inside, while I preheated the oven to 400.  Popped the parchment paper and dough right into the pot, put the lid on and baked for 35 minutes.  Turned the oven off, took the lid off, and left the bread in for another 10 minutes, then removed.

The bread dunked in the soup for dinner tonight was so very comforting, warm and delicious.



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