In college, I had a good friend named Michael Mitchell, but everybody called him Smoky. He was one of the most laidback, kind, and generous people in our posse (yes, we had a posse ... it was the late 90s, after all). Everybody loved Smoky. But about a year after I graduated from Arkansas State University and moved to Memphis, I got a disturbing phone call. Smoky was dead — killed in a drunk driving accident. His best friend was driving after a few too many drinks, and their vehicle collided with another car on their way home. That was in 2002 ... or maybe it was early 2003.
Smoky has been greatly missed. I'd share pictures but all of my Smoky photos were taken in the days before digital cameras ... or at least before I had one. I will, however, show you Smoky's tribute soup — Smoky's Chipotle Split Pea Soup:
It's another cookbook recipe and it's dedicated to my pal Smoky. The chipotle peppers lend the soup a smoky flavor, and so I named the soup accordingly. I have no idea if Smoky actually liked split pea soup. I know he liked French fries. But regardless as to whether or not he liked split pea soup, I'm sure he wouldn't have minded having one named after him.
By the way, that red stuff on top is sriracha. It's not in the recipe. I just have a thing for split peas with sriracha. It's an odd but delicious combination.
I served Smoky's soup with an Earth Balanced slice of this Rustic Multiseed Wheat Bread:
The recipe was in the February issue of Vegetarian Times, in the No-Knead Bread section. Just as it sounds, this delicious loaf required absolutely no kneading. Instant yeast is used for a quick rise, and I subbed whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose in their recipe. For the record, this loaf had the best rise I've ever gotten using whole wheat pastry flour. And it's delicious. I think I've found my new go-to bread recipe.