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message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie In honor of the below zero weather we're enjoying in Wisconsin today, I'm posting this recipe for split pea soup, which I'm making for dinner tonight. I'm not a big fan of celery, so I don't use it when I make this recipe, and I usually add an extra carrot or two. Also, in an effort to lighten up on the fat, I only use the two pieces of bacon that are simmered in the beginning of the recipe - we don't miss the remainder, which is crumbled on top as a garnish. This recipe is taken from Williams-Sonoma Soup, and makes the perfect dinner for a freezing cold winter night.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup dried green or yellow split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

6 slices bacon

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

PREPARATION

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 - 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and sauté until just slightly softened, 3 minutes.

Add the split peas, stock, 2 slices of the bacon, parsley, marjoram, and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the peas are tender, 50 - 60 minutes. Discard the bacon.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan over medium heat, fry the remaining 4 slices bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool, crumble and set aside.

Coarsely purée 2 cups of the soup in a food processor and return the puréed soup to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper to taste, return the soup to medium heat, and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Variation tip: The crumbled crisp bacon adds a flavorful counterpoint to the creamy split pea flavor. For an alternative garnish, top the soup with chopped honey-baked ham.

Serving tip: Serve the soup with warm crusty french bread.


Makes four servings



message 2: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 865 comments I was just a country boy from Oklahoma when I traveled to the Netherlands. It was cold and damp, and I had on a too lightweight jacket for the elements. I entered a small cafe where the day's special (I learned, later, it was always the day's special) was split pea soup. I'd never had it, or even heard of it. With slices of Edam cheese and warm bread; I forgot all about the cold. I still make it in the winter, but never as good as that day in Holland.


message 3: by Stamatia (new)

Stamatia | 19 comments We call the split pea soup "fava" (please no Hannibal puns) only we usually make it so thick as to be a spread. It's usually an appetiser dish. Split peas boiled with water and salt to the consistency of a really thick gruel. It is traditionally eaten with wedges of raw onion, that we split into individual leaves and use them to scoop the spread up. Any leftovers are sauteed next day with chopped onion and tomatoes and served again. This being a very cheap meal it used to be a staple in the post WWII years of high poverty for most of the Greek people.


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