There seems to be a lot of talk here in Canada about our national dish being Poutine. This always confuses me because I don't know anyone who makes it and only a handful who eat it. Just about the only thing Candian about it is that most adults have at least tried it. I only imagine if it became a regular staple in anyone diet they'd be dealing with a whole lot of digestive and heart related ailments. Homecooks have been making Split Pea Soup for longer than poutine and, to me, it's Canada's national dish. If our parents didn't make it from scratch we all grew up enjoying cans of Habitant soup. It's a very warming and comforting soup that is Canada's answer to Posole.
Making Everyday Food Light's Vegetarian Split Pea Soup was pretty enticing since I've never made one from scratch. And like so many recipes these days, I'm all for eliminating meat whenever possible. The recipe calls for 4 quarts of water, that's equal to 16 cups. So that gives you a pretty good idea of the volume of soup you can expect to yield. Once complete I took a taste. Woah.... wait... Salt! Yes, it needs plenty of salt and pepper. Second taste, there is still something... Puree, it needs to be more smooth. Third taste... it needs Meat! I can't eat it without ham. Luckily I had a ham steak in the freezer, so for our dinner portions I added the ham and it was so totally delicious! This soup is nothing without ham and if I ever make it again, which I definitely will, I'm making mine with a big ol' ham hock.