Split pea soup is one of those magic comfort foods that never fails to give me a boost. Somehow, when you take those little pebbly green split peas and cook them in water with ham and vegetables, they become something more. They reveal a potential for deliciousness you never would have suspected. Another great thing about split pea soup is it tastes just as good (if not better) the next day. Since I have some last-minute paper writing ahead of me this week, having leftover soup in the fridge that I can warm up any time is very reassuring. The best part of all? It's easy to make! The only hard part about this recipe was getting a decent photo at the end... because soup just doesn't like being photographed.

*makes about 3 servings
1 carrot, sliced into half moons
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup precooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 cups water
8 oz split peas
1/2 tsp dried thyme

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until it spreads to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the onions and carrots, which should sizzle on contact. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes over medium heat, until they are just starting to brown. Add the ham and the water and bring the water to a boil. Add the split peas and thyme, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the split peas have increased in size and softened, thickening the soup. Eat it while it's hot, or save some in the fridge for tomorrow!