Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Split Pea Soup and Sammiches

I've never made split pea soup before, in fact, I'm not even sure how many times I've even had it. Let's face it, it's generally not a very pretty soup, especially from the can. Well, I had some split peas in the pantry and the rest of the ingredients are pretty standard, just a quick stop at the old Ital for some cheap carrots and I was on my way. Fortunately, my man has an appetite twice the size of his body and convinced me to stop at the market for sandwich stuffs. It was here that I decided I could compensate for lack of ham hock in the soup with a tasty Jambon beurre baguette. Well, enough chatter, let the recipe-ing begin!

3 large carrots, diced
1 medium celery root, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter*
2 T olive oil
1 lb dry split peas, rinsed
6-8 cups water or veg. broth
1 T old style mustard
1 cup frozen peas
Potential herbs:
herbs de provence

In a large soup pot melt your butter and oil and throw in the celery and carrots. Cook until tender but not mushy, about 7 or 8 minutes. Then throw in your onion and garlic and cook for another couple minutes until soft. Add peas and broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes (leaving the lid off will cause the soup to be thicker, I left mine on for the first half to make it a little less thick). Add your herbs in the amount you desire. Just before serving, throw in your peas, season with salt and pepper and a hand full of chopped fresh parsley. Voila!

(I'm not writing about Spencer's sammi because frankly, it looked gross and I didn't technically make it. It's some fake turkey salad he gets at WF and it looks like cat food. He likes it but wasn't thrilled about it in comparison to my fantastic soup.)

Skipping the ingredients, straight to assemblage: Slice one demi-baguette almost in half. On one side spread a generous amount of salted butter, on the other side an equal (or more) portion of delicious mustard. Lay a few slices of baked or smoked deli ham in the center and top with cheese of your choice. Toast in the oven. I actually threw in a few sliced cornichons to give it some zing...but you don't have to if you're a wimp.

So the soup pretty much RULES. I cannot think of a single thing that would improve it at all. We both had seconds and our leftovers are already gone. I cooked my peas to al dente rather than to supreme mushy pea soup consistency, but that was a personal choice. One could use regular celery in lieu of the root, but I think the root has a more interesting flavor and it doesn't fall apart the way regular celery does in soup. However, for some reason I can't seem to explain, celery root is far more expensive than celery. I implore you dearest internet, tell me why this is so. Also, it's a bit more difficult to find and maneuver. It's irregularly shaped and covered in dirt in all these crevices, so you end up cutting a lot away. BUT I STILL LOVE IT. In short, make this damned soup and thank me later.

The sammich was also quite good. And it's tangy smokiness really complimented the sweetness of the soup. I only ate half of it because the soup was so good. Over all a very cheap meal and one that I plan on adding to the regular rotation for sure. Now I just have to work on making a vegan sammich to go with this...

1 comment:

  1. As I may have told you I attempted some pea soup recently. I love the stuff and have been making it since early col-EDGE but here is the new deal. I replaced putting a ham hock with putting a whole ham in. I like it Hammy. This is a BAD idea. When I redid it 2 weeks ago I went with the Hock and then put some pieces of ham in a fry pan, put a sear on em and then tossed them in after putting the whole works to a treatment from a stick blender to get a smooth consistency. I caution you to not use too many Peas as you can end up with Mashed Peas with ham throughout for leftovers.