Monday, October 13, 2008

Feel free to crown me Queen of Split Pea Soup.

Sometimes I even amaze myself. Like today. A crappy overcast, windy Seattle day outside, I decided to make soup for dinner. Something hearty, something that really tastes like Autumn. Split Pea. I like split pea soup even though I loathe peas. Go figure. Or don't, either way, make this soup.

Split pea soup is one of those classic comfort soups for me. It is warm and filling, goes great with a nice slice of fresh bread, and is actually really simple to make.

Queen of Pea Soup
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
2 cups dried split peas
7 cups water
7 tsp Better than Bullion
1 tsp dry thyme
2 bay leaves

In a large soup pan, melt your butter and briefly saute the onions, celery and carrot. Once they are slightly soft, add your dried peas (wash and sort first, then just dump them in) add your water, Better Than Bullion, thyme and bay leaves. Turn heat down to medium low and cover your pan. Leave it alone. Sure go stir it once in a while, like every 20 minutes or so, but don't hover. It is completely unnecessary. The peas will cook down and dissolve, as will the onions and celery. The carrots never fully commit, but they end up partly cooked away, only flecking the soup with their beautiful autumn gold in the pot. If that offends you, or if you prefer a perfectly silky soup, use your stick blender to beat those carrots and other small chunks into submission.

When the soup is more or less soupy (about an hour), you can fish out the bay leaves, or if you're lazy like me, make up some kind of "If you get the bay leaf you have to kiss the chef" game and avoid dining with people you'd rather not kiss you.

I like to serve it with a nice hot slice of fresh bread, but you don't have to. Sure, people will talk, but do your own thing.

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