I promised, a few posts back, to share my recipe for split pea soup and I'm going to do that. First, I'm going to share a link to one of my favorite blogs. I've mentioned Geninne's Art blog before. I love her birds. Her watercolors make me smile. She has done several videos showing her process and this is the last one where she adds the white ink. Talk about a steady hand. Check it out!
Here's the recipe for Split Pea Soup. It comes from my favorite cookbook: Campbell’s Great American Cookbook: A Culinary treasury of more than 500 best-loved recipes from Colonial times to the present. (Copyright 1984) You would think, because it was published by Campbell's soup that it would be recipe after recipe opening a soup can. Nope! It was Campbell's attempt to define American cooking. It really is a wonderful book and if you can find it, get it. It is, if nothing else, fun reading. I'm not sure why the soup was so good last time, except (forgive me my vegan/vegetarian friends), I used smoked ham hocks. OH MY! We are now looking forward to the weekend when it is supposed to get cool again (highs in the 70's instead of 90's) and another pot of split pea soup will be in order! Straight from the cookbook:
Old Fashioned Pea Soup
American Indians knew how to grow and dry beans, but Europeans brought peas and lentils to this country.Colonial pea soup had meat and vegetables added to it daily, changing its character from day to day. The “Pease Porridge” really might have been served hot, cold or “in the pot, nine days old.”
Begin: Day Ahead Makes 6 Servings
1 package (16 ounces) dry green or yellow peas
1 ham bone with meat
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Soak peas in 8 cups water overnight, drain.
2. About 2 hours before serving: in 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat, heat 6 cups water, peas and remaining ingredients to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender.
3. Remove bone; cool until easy to handle. Cut meat from bone; discard bone. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces; return to soup. Heat. Yields 8 cups.
SPLIT PEA SOUP: Prepare as above but substitute 1 package (16 ounces) dry green or yellow split peas for whole peas and add 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1 bay leaf. Discard bay leaf before serving.
LENTIL SOUP: Prepare as above but substitute 1 package (16 ounces) dry lentil for peas, and do not soak lentils in water. Add 1 cup diced celery, 1 cup diced carrots; 1 large clove garlic, minced; 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 1 bay leaf and increase water to 7 cups. Discard bay leaf before serving.
TIP: Soak peas the quick way: Add peas to boiling water, allowing 4 cups water for each cup dry peas. Over high heat, heat to boiling, boil 2 minutes, Remove from heat. Cover, let stand 1 hour. Drain and prepare as above. (For some reason, I don't think my soup tastes as good when I take the shortcut. May just be my imagination!)