Ode on a Bowl of Split-Pea Soup

Ode on a Bowl of Split-Pea Soup

I am blue,

stir-crazy against forbidding cold.

Dinner time approaches. No plan has been


Humble split peas rattle, jarred.

Onion, carrot, celery, parsnip. Bacon.

Twenty minutes later bubbling, thickening.

Time passes, deep and grainy

Mellow, homey, unassuming

Collapsed, embracing pea-ness

Ivory parsnip buoys float on a thick sea, melt on my tongue

Their sweetness lingers

A hint, a kiss.

Bacon morsels a chewy counterpoint

Childlike comfort, from another’s childhood

Pea green flavor eases blues.


Serves 6-8

2 T. olive oil

2 large onion, chopped

4 ribs celery with leaves, chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 medium parsnip, peeled, tough center cut out, and chopped

4 slices buffalo bacon [regular bacon would work, too]

3 sprigs fresh marjoram, or 3 t. dried

3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 3 t. dried

3 cups green split peas

16 cups water

2 bay leaf

Salt & pepper

Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and parsnip. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add buffalo bacon and herbs; stir 1 minute. Add peas, then water and bay leaf, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover pot; simmer soup until vegetables are tender and peas are falling apart, stirring often, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before serving.