SPLIT PEA SOUP
Pea soup with bacon
Peas and beans make superior cold-weather soups. They are rich and full of
protein. I developed this recipe as a response to the flavorful but bland
"Senate Bean Soup". Split peas are very healthy, but when you go adding
all of this bacon to them the healthfulness is diminished a bit in the
interests of flavor.
Ingredients(Makes 16 cups)
- 1 lb split peas
- 1 lb bacon,
chopped into small squares
- 4 oz butter
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 1/2 cup yellow onion
- 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
(or, if you are a purist,
of mashed potatoes)
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 cups parsley
- 12 cups beef broth
(or any other kind of broth, or water)
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 peppercorns
- 6 green cardamom seeds
- 1 jigger good cognac
- 1/2 tsp Chinese hot pepper oil
Soak the peas for 6 hours and no more. Use
salt per quart of soaking water. Drain; discard the soaking water.
Cook the bacon until crisp; drain, dry, and discard fat. The bacon should be
crisp enough that the pieces will crumble as you stir the soup while it is
cooking. I put it on my broiler pan and bake it for 30 minutes at
In a stockpot, put the cooked bacon, the butter, the celery, and
of the onion. Sautae over medium heat until the onion begins to brown.
Add the beef broth, the soaked and drained beans, the mashed potato flakes
(or mashed potato) and the parsley. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours, or until the
peas are tender.
Add the remaining
chopped onion, and the minced garlic.
In a tea ball, or tied in cheesecloth, put the bay leaves, the peppercorns,
and the cardamom seeds. Simmer for another 1/2 hour.
Remove the tea ball or cheesecloth. Add salt to taste, being careful not to
add more than 2 teaspoons.
Pour in the cognac and the hot pepper oil, stir well, and serve immediately.
Sprinkle some chopped fresh chives on top of each bowl after serving it. If
you don't have fresh chives, then stir some dried snipped chives into the
soup 5 minutes before serving it.
Some bacon is very salty. You can remove most of the salt from it without
materially affecting its flavor by boiling the cut, uncooked bacon pieces
for 1 minute in a few
of water, then discarding the water and then
drying the pieces with paper towels before cooking.
Because the cooked peas have the ability to block
your taste buds somewhat, make sure you rinse your mouth with a drink of
water after each time you taste the soup while seasoning it, else you will
overseason it. Incremental seasoning of legume soups is tricky, so if you
are inexperienced, measure the seasonings carefully.
I like to serve soups like this with unbuttered fresh bread.
If you want to fool with the recipe, one of the places to fool with it is
the spices that you put in the tea ball. Try some combination of Indian
seasonings (coriander and cumin and ginger and cloves) or try taking out the
peppercorns and cardamom seeds and putting in mustard seeds.
Outside the tea ball, try adding sesame oil at the end instead of the
cognac. Try adding rutabagas, chopped into cubes, at the beginning of the
cooking. Try substituting olive oil for the butter, and adding a half cup of
grated Peccorino Romano at the end, right before serving. And, of course,
try using ham hocks instead of bacon.
easy to moderate (balancing the seasonings can be tricky).
6 hours soaking, 45 minutes preparation, 3 or more hours cooking.
Measure the seasonings.
DEC Western Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, Calif., USA
Recipe last modified: 20 Jan 86
From: reid@glacier (Brian Reid)
Subject: RECIPE: Pea soup with bacon
Date: 17 Oct 86 03:34:25 GMT
Organization: Stanford University, Computer Systems Lab
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