Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Spicy Split Pea Soup and a Side of Chatter

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So we're taking a little detour from our chocolate suicide to enjoy soup season and talk about some updates we've made around here. We're also going to man up and answer some of the questions we're getting since I boasted yesterday that we might not need New Years Resolutions this year. Now, if you haven't checked out some of the changes we made to this site over the past few weeks, you really should. We've put in a Pantry page to help you locate recipes by ingredients, and we updated our Frequently Asked Questions, As Seen On and Nerdery pages. We're still working on The Family Tree, but keep checking back--I think you'll like what we're going to do.

Also, if you look on the right hand side of the page, you'll see a button to check out our Finding Vegan Page, as well as a link to Ecolissa. Meet The Shannons readers can get 20% on Ecolissa - eco friendly and vegan clothing by entering Vegan20 at checkout. If living a greener life is one of your New Years Resolutions, you should really check Ecolissa out.

We've had a few people ask me a wide range of questions about reusable shopping bags & totes*. I hope these tips answer your questions.
  • Keep your shopping bags in your car, and if you're really forgetful, put a sticky note on your dash reminding you to bring them inside. I think you'll be surprised how fast you make this a good habit.
  • Recently someone who loves large, uncompromising landfills went around the internet telling people that reusing shopping bags will lead to a pandemic of food born illnesses. Let's be honest here--like anything in life, if you are worried about getting sick... be cleaner. Wash your hands. Wash your bags regularly, and your food before you eat it. Soap don't hurt.
  • If you feel like some weirdo using a tote in places outside the grocery stores and farmers market, get yourself one of these cute little ones that fit in your purse. There are a few that are more manly too for pockets.
Time for soup!

Spicy Split Pea Soup (slow cooker and stew pot versions below)

Slow Cooker :
Decrease Water to 7 Cups. Mix all the ingredients in your slow cooker except Frozen Peas and Vegan Bacon. Cover and cook on a low heat for 3-4 hours or until the Peas are tender. Then stir in the Frozen Peas and cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the Vegan Bacon Bits over the top of each bowl when you serve.

Stew Pot :
Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and the Red Onion in a large stew pot or Dutch oven on a medium heat until the Onions are tender. Then add all the ingredients except the Carrots, Frozen Peas and Vegan Bacon and mix. Cover and let simmer for around 1 hour. Stir continually while your soup cooks. Stir in Carrots and Frozen Peas and recover the pot. Heat to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for around another 30 minutes to 1 hour. You want to remove it from heat when the Dried Peas are soft. Ours took an hour - yours make take longer. Just a heads up - I read some of the forums that talked about this recipe and there are some folks that had to wait almost 2 hours and had to add another cup of water. They may have just been doing it wrong though. Betty usually gets it right.

Sprinkle the Vegan Bacon over each bowl before serving.



  1. Great Tips, Mrs. Shannon! I will attest to the statement that bringing your own bags to the store quickly becomes habit! (Plus, you usually get a couple cents off your grocery order when you use one!)

    I'd like to add that I am really loving my Envirosax bag! It rolls up and snaps, so it's easier to transport than those ordinary reusable totes sold for $1 at the grocery stores. I went to Whole Foods the other day with THREE Envirosax bags in my hoodie pocket!


    Just sayin'...

  2. This sounds good!! I;ve been wanting Split Pea soup!! I gotta try this!!