Saturday, February 6, 2016

Warm then cold then melting then snow

Yes the weather has been up and down this week warm enough to melt everything and cause the rivers to flood and then it got cold and we had freezing rain, ice pellets and then a bunch of snow. Fun hey? But rather than panic we just salted the driveway Steve went out early this morning to shovel. He's over at the church cleaning with the kids and I'm here making lunch. Perfect for a cool day is split pea soup with some nice fresh bread. And it's so simple to make! 

Place in a heavy pot with a lid:

2 chopped onions and 1 tbsp oil. 
Fry until lightly golden.

Add:
1 pound split peas
2 litres of chicken stock or water 
1 bouillon cube if using water
2 bay leaves
Leftover ham steak cut into cubes
Dash pepper and herbs. I like bouquet garni or herbes des Provence. 

I simmer gently on top of the stove for about an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the pot. Pea soup has a tendency to separate into layers with a thick layer of peas on the bottom and liquid on top. Cooking at low heat means you won't scorch your peas with occasional stirring. 

Be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving. They can taste quite bitter if accidentally crunched. And for really fast soup (my five minute method) grind the peas into flour in your grain mill then follow the above directions. Stirring frequently. Voila! Pea soup in five minutes. 

Today I'm doing the long boil method. I like a nice chunky pea soup and I'm using a jar of our mixed green and yellow peas. We had a small piece of ham steak left over from a ham steak stew I made this week. It was perhaps 2x5x.5 inches and I just cubed it and threw it in. Once it's done cooking I'll check to see what it needs for salt. Pea soup is one of those dishes that benefits from a little salt and I add mine near the end of cooking. Same with freshly ground pepper. I put a little in at the beginning and then I grind some fresh on top of each bowl. 

Well there you have it. Pea soup day! 

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