Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Slowly Warming Soup of Love

Soup of Love

In Sweden you might find this listed as ärtsoppa, or in the northern part of England: “mushy peas”.

Slave likes to think of it as a great green hug of love. The best way to warm up on a day like this. Currently it is 11 degrees! Many of my memories of this soup came from when I was nine and first learning how to cook. I had to cook or I didn't eat! Of course back then I only had to open the can of Campbells and add water. It did not take long for me to learn how to build on the basic taste.

1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 shallot chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
about a pound of “seasoning pieces” of ham ½ teaspoon thyme
1 cup frozen peas, thawed divided
1 container nonfat plain Greek style yogurt
Crusty multigrain bread, for serving (optional)
Ask your butcher for about a pound of “seasoning pieces” of ham. These are basically scraps that are only good for putting in soups as a flavoring. It is a good cheap way to get great flavor. They taste wonderful but they just aren’t pretty.

Do your cutting the night before. Chop the shallot, celery, and carrots and put them into zipper bags to rest overnight in the refrigerator. It does nothing for the flavor, this only protects your fingers from trying to use a sharp knife before your first cup of coffee.

In the morning, wipe out the slow-cooker and spray with cooking spray. This should always be your first move using a slow cooker. Just get in the habit.

Open the bag of split peas and put in a large bowl. Rinse in cold water and drain. You will notice a few of the peas just don't look as nice as the rest. Take a few minutes to pick these yellow or brown ones out. It only takes a few minutes of running your fingers through, this does not have to be perfect. It is just another way of putting an ounce or two to “caring” into your food.
Pour the good ones into the pot. Add the shallot, celery, carrots, and ½ cup of the thawed peas. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. (place the thyme into your palm and crush with your thumb as your sprinkle it in)

Pull apart the seasoning pieces of ham. They will probably be in a big old lump all together. Just break them up and add. Finish with about 7 cups water. Cover and cook on low until the split peas and meat are tender, 6 to 8 hours.
With an hour to go on the time. Remove the cover and take a whisk to the soup. This will break up the peas and make it creamer. Don't get wild with it cause it will splash out. This is where most slow cooker recipes for pea soup fail. The heat just doesn't break apart the peas and make them “mushy”. You will immediately notice that
instead of a broth, you now have what looks like the pea soup of your childhood. (only this tastes so much better.)

Stir in the second ½ cup of thawed peas. Taste to see if it needs any correction in seasoning, like more salt or pepper. Take a damp paper towel and wipe around the edges before returning the lid. You don't want that to stick. Cover for the final hour of cooking.

Wish I could describe the fantastic aroma that is filling the apartment right now. It is like a country kitchen filled with love!

Ladle the soup into bowls.
Scoop out a “dollop” of plain, non-flavored yogurt onto each bowl for a classic garnish. You could use sour cream for this also.

This makes a good meal all by itself or with a salad and some hot crusty bread.

Now for our music, lets see about:

On these cold days, presenting a big bowl of homemade soup is a wonderful way of comforting and nourishing at the same time.

Unspoken caring as I get to serve my Master Indy.


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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