Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Back to real cooking: Pea Soup

For most of December, due to renovations in the dining room, the kitchen was a war zone and I was too pooped from the work I was doing to cook a proper meal. By the time things were "back to normal" it was Christmas and I was not back to my usual cooking/eating habits. Now that things have settled down it's time to get back to real food and real cooking!

I like to make batches of food ahead of time, things like soups, chili's and pasta sauces that I can freeze and bust out for dinner when I have had a busy day. Sunday marked a colossal trip to the grocery store, so today I am going to get cooking! First up is pea soup with ham. I really like pea soup and it's been a long time since I have had some...mainly because the man LOVES pea soup and the last time I made a pot he somehow managed to have it all (no sharing?!). This time I will be sure to save some for myself!

Pea Soup with Ham
Makes aprox. 6 cups

2 Slices of bacon
2/3 cup Ham (cubed)
1 Onion
2 Cloves minced garlic
1 Carrot
2 Potatoes
1 Cup of split peas
6 Cups Chicken stock
1/4 Tsp Thyme
1/4 Tsp Ground cumin
1 Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

I don't like my pea soup blended smooth, but also don't want massive hunks of veggies, so I chop everything into small cubes. I have also chosen to cook the vegetables in bacon fat (for flavor!) rather than oil but you can certainly leave out the bacon and use a couple teaspoons of olive oil.

Start by chopping bacon into small pieces and frying, adding the onion just before the bacon starts to crisp. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes before adding the garlic, carrots and potatoes. Continue cooking until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Throw in the cubed ham, split peas, thyme, cumin and bay leaf, stir then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit - I am a lover of black pepper but I go easy on the salt because of the ham and bacon. If the soup becomes too thick, just add some water.
*The longer the soup sits, the thicker it gets, so if you are eating next day you may want to add a drop or two of water. Soup freezes well!

No comments:

Post a Comment