‘When I was a kid, my mother would cut up hot dogs to add to canned split pea soup for me to eat,” Ina Garten tells me from the barn in West Hampton, N.Y., where she creates and tests the recipes published in her cookbooks and featured on her Food Network show, “Barefoot Contessa.”

I tell her I ate so much split pea soup when I was a kid that my mother told me I was going to turn green.

Modern Comfort Food cover

“Modern Comfort Food” by Ina Garten

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Chicken Pot Pie Soup is featured in “Modern Comfort Food” by Ina Garten.

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie is featured in "Modern Comfort Food" by Ina Garten.

Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at janeammeson@gmail.com or by writing to Focus, The Herald-Palladium, P.O. Box 128, St. Joseph, MI 49085.