As usual with big Catholic Feast days, food is involved with the day, with many Catholic families having picnics near their loved ones’ graves. Traditional foods include “Soul Food” — food made of lentils or peas.

Basic Split Pea Soup (serves 4)

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 1 pound ham bone
  • 1 c. chopped ham
  • 1 c. chopped carrots (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, sauté onions in oil or bacon grease. (Optional: add garlic and sauté until just golden, then remove). Remove from heat and add split peas, ham bone and ham. Add enough water to cover ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.

Cover, and cook until there are no peas left, just a green liquid, 2 hours. (Optional: add carrots halfway through) While it is cooking, check to see if water has evaporated. You may need to add more water as the soup continues to cook.

Once the soup is a green liquid remove from heat, and let stand so it will thicken. Once thickened you may need to heat through to serve. Serve with either sherry or sour cream on top, and with a crusty bread.

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