Our schedule has been crazy these days, with appointments and other activities running smack into the dinner hour. The schedule, in combination with our limited eating-out budget, has forced me to plan ahead even more than I used to and have some meals prepared in advance.
Last night, after dinner, I quickly prepped some ingredients for my favorite crockpot split pea soup. In case you were wondering, the price of split peas from the bulk bin can’t be beat. Bring your old jars to the store and fill them up with the items of your choice – it’s a great way to recycle and keep these types of goodies fresh.
And all I had to do this morning was cut up a couple of slices of bacon (sourced locally from Range Brothers) and toss everything into the slow cooker.
On our way home from occupational therapy, I’ll pick up a fresh loaf of country style bread, and we’ll be good to go! I won’t have to rush around like a chicken with my head cut off when I get home and the kids are starving. Phew.
Here is another great source for some make-ahead meals. What are some of your favorite ways to feed your family when you are in a rush?
Split Pea Soup, a simplified recipe
What’s Cooking with Kids
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 gigantic onion, chopped
6 cups low sodium organic chicken broth (or homemade stock)
2 cups split peas
2 slices bacon (ideally locally sourced from happy pigs)
1 bay leaf
Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 9-10 hours, or on high for 5. If you prefer a blended soup, you can use a regular blender (but be sure you are careful and follow these safety precautions.) Or, to do it even more easily, you can just run your immersion or stick blender through the soup. Or, you can leave it chunky, of course.
Serve with a loaf of bread and a side salad.
This makes a big batch of soup. Want to do something nice? Bring a steaming mug of soup to an elderly neighbor or give some to someone on the street who looks hungry. Soup warms the soul and is a wonderful way to share your kindness.