Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"The Complete Book of Soupds and Stews" - Green Split Pea Soup with Wine

Date I made this recipe: March 17, 2010 (St. Patrick’s Day)

The Complete Book of Soups and Stews by Bernard Clayton, Jr.
Published by: Simon & Schuster (A Fireside Book)
ISBN: 0-671-43864-6
Recipe: Green Split Pea Soup with Wine – p. 328-329

Well, here we are at St. Patrick’s Day and I thought I had a “regulation” corned beef and cabbage meal all set and ready to go until I talked to my husband.

Me: “So, what do you think of corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy’s Day?”
Him: “Huh.” (In husband speak, this means “No.”)
Me: “Okay…hmmm… what about pea soup?”(Hey, it’s green, it works!)
Him: “I could get behind pea soup.”
Me: “And it has potatoes in it and potatoes make us think of Ireland so there it is!”

You have to admit, it was a pretty good save, right?

While my husband might have some Irish blood in him, I have not a drop – not one tiny little drop. And frankly, crowded beer halls are just not all that fun if you’re not Irish. But I can cook and I can distinguish colors (my husband is colorblind) and so I went with green soup with potatoes and so there we are – instant Irish!

The author notes that “a hint of mustard and sesame oil and a nip of wine (Me: it’s St. Paddy’s day—go for broke!) and vinegar give this hearty soup a special character that sets it apart from the dozens of other dishes made with this legume.” And sure and begorrah, this soup turned out to be pretty tasty indeed!

This concludes my salute to St. Patrick’s Day! Slainte ! (To your health!)

Green Split Pea Soup with Wine – serves 8
1 pound green split peas, washed and drained
5 or 6 cups water, depending on consistency desired
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup minced onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup minced celery
1 medium potato, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 cup chopped tomatoes
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon thyme
Several drops dark sesame oil (very potent)
3 tablespoons vinegar
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Wash and pick over split peas. In a medium (4-quart) saucepan, cover the peas with 5 cups of water. Add the bay leaf and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until tender, about 1 hour.

While the peas are simmering, cook the onions, garlic, celery, potato and carrots in a large covered skillet over low heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the contents of the skillet to the soup and continue simmering for an additional hour, or a total of 2 hours.

Fifteen minutes before serving, add the tomatoes, red wine, mustard, thyme and a few drops of sesame oil. Stir to blend well. If the soup seems thick, add a cup or so of water.

Just before serving, add vinegar, parsley and freshly ground pepper to taste.

NOTE: You will likely have to add water way before you get to the final 15 minute mark.

No comments: