Sunday, November 7, 2010

Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup with carrots, roasted potatoes and ham
This is the type of soup I make on a lazy weekend afternoon.  This took about 2.5 hours but it wasn't difficult or overly intensive.  Chop a bit of this and cook, add to a bit of that....I also don't follow exact recipes anymore relying more on look and feel. 

For the ingredients listed below, I've approximated and given a range.  Since it's soup, it's hard to mess up, especially given the long lead time.  As this is "split pea" soup, that's the key ingredient (besides water) and everything else is a matter of taste and/or what you have on hand - don't care for pork or potatoes, leave them out...prefer barley and celery root, add it in.  Today, I needed to start doing something with a ham left over from earlier this year to clean out our freezer which got me thinking about soup...the rest of the ingredients were already at home.

2-3 cups dried split green peas
Bay leaf
4-6 cups water
2-3 large carrots
3 medium potatoes
3-tablespoons veggie or olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic salt
cup of minced ham
fresh parsley

Rinse the dried split green peas and add to a medium pan with double the amount of water as peas, plus a bay leaf.  (Note: halfway through the process,  I decided that the medium sauce pan was getting too full and on the verge of boiling over so I switched to a larger stock pot.  If you are using the smaller quantities, you may not need to)

Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer with a lid partially on the pan.  Skim off the scum every now and then.  This may take about an hour.

In the meantime, peel and chop carrots into a fine dice.

When peas are starting to soften, add a cup or two or small diced carrots.  You may need to add another cup or so or water to keep it soup-like instead of mashed pea mush!

Preheat oven to 400F. Wash potatoes and cut into small cubes.  I like the skin on.  Place potato cubes on a sheet pan and add a glug or two of veggie or olive oil.  I like to use a high-temp sunflower oil which makes the potatoes nice and crispy.  I also cubed 4  potatoes and will reserve some for tomorrow night's dinner.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Remove from oven, season, and set aside.

When the peas and carrots are nice and soft, remove Bay leaf, and blend briefly with an immersion blender to make the soup chunky-smooth or blend until desired consistency. 

Split peas, carrots and water after cooking for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Season and taste.  Add seasoned potatoes, ham, and parsley. 

I served this fresh wheat bread and ham slices.
Cranberry pecan oatmeal bar

The last of our butchered pig - a nine pound ham.

End of a relaxing weekend.


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