Andersen’s Pea Soup

by janet on August 11th, 2009

I love split pea soup.  It is salty and hearty and re-hee-ally tasty, particularly on the back half of one’s tongue (that’s what she said).  So, eight years on the West Coast, drivin’ up and down that stupid 5, with tempting Andersen’s Pea Soup signs showing up as early as fucking BAKERSFIELD, and never to Andersen’s!?  Travesty.

A true travesty indeed, since my not-knowingness caused me to enter into a bet where I wagered (incorrectly) that Andersen’s was on the 101, not the 5.  I lost 200 points on that bet, but it was a strange game where no one ever told me what 1 point meant, so la-dee-dah~

Another pea soup memory: When I was but a wee girl in Girl Scouts (Brownie stage), I had to cook an entire meal to get my “cooking” badge.  It was a big deal because until then I wasn’t allowed to use the stove for fear of burning myself.  My mom, in a rare American-Mommy-type moment (rather than Japanese And On Top Of That Busy Doctoral Student Mommy) helped me earn my badge by helping me cook split pea and ham soup (out of a can lol) and a sandwich.

Yet another pea soup memory: When I was living with my ex-ex-ex roomie, I remember him cutting out an article from the LA Times Magazine about fairy camp and posting it on our fridge.  I remember us standing in the kitchen and him reading the article out loud to me, kindergarten-style.  I particularly remember a boy fairy, impersonated very cutely by my roommate, who was quoted as saying, “Pea soup. I’m the fairy that likes pea soup.”  In fact, I just googled “I’m the fairy that likes pea soup” and found the article!  Read it it’s awesome. It’s from 2002; 7 years ago! The shit that gets stored in our memories, sometimes. Wow.

OK so Andersen’s is a crazy throwback to I don’t know what era of decor.  A huge windmill (powered by a motor; thus negating the whole point of a windmill said Simon) on the outside, a million billion tchotchkes inside.  I sampled some cheese spread, which was appropriately nasty/yum, and we got two soups to go; one with “the works” topping, for a mere $1.50 more, which netted us green onions, ham, cheese, croutons, AND BACON!

We heated it up later in my bare apartment in the middle of the night and ate it on the floor.  Totally lived up to the hype.  Salty – check!  Hearty – check!  Re-hee-ally tasty – check! Particularly on the back half of my tongue – check!  I liked mine plain; Simon preferred his with all the toppings but NOT the bacon!??!  I sampled it and had to agree – the bacon was super crunchy and salty and totally disrupted the experience.

But even better was the experience the following morning, when the soup was cold and had gelatinized/solidified somewhat into something inexplicably delicious.  I guess it was like the texture of…hummus?  Pea hummus, eaten straight with a spoon.  A superb first and second meal in the new apartment~!

Andersen’s Pea Soup
376 Avenue of the Flags
Buellton, California 93427


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