Monday, November 21, 2016

Split Pea Soup


 This blog has been about politics and culture. I like to cook, and I try to write down my successful recipes for my family, so why not post them.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time cooking. My wife, who is a wizard, went out of town to confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with her sister wizards. And the beautiful fall weather we had been having, turned into typical November, cold, gray, and rainy. In the summer, we tend to grill a lot of stuff (chicken, meat, and fish) for dinner. In the colder months we switch to heartier fare.

here is the split pea soup I made Sunday. It requires some forethought, but the prep time is not much:

Ingredients:

1 16 oz bag of green split peas. The Goya brand* is very nice clean peas.

2 medium onions

4 cloves of garlic

1 lbs. carrots

6 cups of light broth. Chicken, Turkey, Veal, Vegetable -- what ever you like

2 cups of meat cut into small cubes. (optional)

Prep:
The day before:
Wash the peas and inspect for stones and other contamination. Then put the peas in a container (at least 1½ Qt.) and add the broth cold.

Put the container in the fridge, and allow the peas to soak in the broth over night. They will swell up quite a bit.
The day of:
Strain the peas from the broth and reserve the broth.

Peel and chop the carrots.

Put the broth in a pot, bring it to a boil†. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes.

Strain the carrots from the broth and reserve the broth.

Cut the onion and garlic into little pieces.

In a large (5 Qt. or more) pot, cover the bottom with cooking oil or other grease, and heat the pot

Put the onions and garlic into the heated pot and saute until the onions are clear.

Add the broth to the pot with the cooked onions and garlic, add extra broth to make up 6 cups of liquid, and add the peas.

Simmer the peas, onions, and garlic in the broth.

When the peas have gotten kind of shapeless, puree the mixture with an immersion blender until it is the desired consistency.

Add the Carrots.

Serve with bits of meat to put into the soup, garnish with Parmesan cheese. Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Ham to use as a garnish:

Day before:

Buy or cut up at least 1/2 lbs. of ham into cubes.

make a mixture of brown sugar, ground black pepper, ground cloves, and dried ground ginger.

Coat ham with mixture. Cover and store in fridge overnight.

Day of:

Wash mixture off ham cubes.

Coat with oil. bake at least 1/2hr in medium oven.

*I will name names. It helps you. They aren't paying me yet. I promise never to hype anything I do not use and like.

†Careful here. The broth picks up sugars and proteins from the peas. They will cause the broth to foam up when it is brought to a boil. The foam is harmless, but it may boil over and make a mess.

‡I use a "Cuisinart CSB-80 Smart Stick Power Trio High Torque Hand Blender" that I bought from Amazon. It is very powerful, so much so that you should really hold it with both hands while running it. It makes short work of pureeing peas.

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