Any Way You Split it...It's Time for Split Pea Soup!
One of eldest and lowliest food staples to mankind dating back to 500 BC is the humble Split Pea Soup. Records indicate the residents of Athens enjoyed buying hot pea soup off street vendors. Uncomplicated, inexpensive, and elevated in protein compelled split pea soup into a top seller!
Once the chefs for King Louis XIV knew, they decided they had better enhance this simple soup to serve the King. The additions of some fresh veggies simmered in a light stock and pureed (The Bamix - MW140 White Magic Wand Immersion Blender 3pc Set would have been great back then!) did just the trick to please the King. Pease pottage for the peasants of the 1500 and 1600’s turned into one King’s favorite foods, led to the famous nursery rhyme of 1765 of:
Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old.
Many cultures partake in the yellow to greenish-gray potage. (Split) pea soup, pottage (named after a city serving the soup), porridge, or pudding are a few English words associated with this comforting bisque. Soupe aux pois from the Québécois fare has been a Canadian classic during those cold nights since long, long ago.
A traditional Soupe aux Pois Recipe
6 cups H2O for the soup
Enough water to soak beans covered overnight as well as soaking the pork
3 medium onions (White) diced
3 carrots and 3 celery stalks (diced)
1/3 pound of salted pork belly
2 ½ tablespoons butter
1 leek finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried savory
2 cups dried yellow peas
Salt & Pepper to taste
Parsley as a topper(Optional)
1). Overnight, soak the peas in 1st of the 6 cups of water. Rinse, when ready to start cooking. Soak the pork before the start of our show for 15 minutes. Rinse as well.
2). Brown the onions, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes or until a bit of caramelization occurs.
3). Add all ingredients to the pot (excluding the savory). Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 3 hours.
4). Remove the pork and trim off the fat. Dice the meat and place back in the soup.
5). Remove bay leaves. Add the savory.
6). Add the parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
Many a pea soup develops from these ingredients. Peas are very world renowned even though not part of a foodie’s conversation typically. Travelling from North East Canada, down to India, peas, and chickpeas primarily, control the regional cuisine. Spicy Indian style pea soup can warm one’s belly, heart (and everything else) depending on how hot you like it.
Spicy Indian Style Split Pea Soup
1 medium white onion diced small
1 large garlic clove (Pressed)
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cups dried green split peas rinsed overnight and drained
1/2 tablespoon ginger root
1/2 teaspoon turmeric & curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (More to taste)
4 ½ cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each white and black ground pepper to taste
Cilantro for topping
1). Soak your peas overnight, then rinse.
2). Heat your oil in your Zwilling J.A.Henckels - Truclad 8QT Stock Pot with Lid to medium-high heat.
3). Add the onion to the pot, and brown with occasional moving for 3-6 min until translucent.
4). Bring in the pressed garlic using the Johnson Rose Aluminum Garlic Press as well as the ginger, cloves, and spices. Cook 2 min with constant stirring.
5). Add those magical peas and chicken broth.
6). Take the concoction to boil, then drop it down to a simmer, uncovered, 50 min until the peas become their infamous mushy selves.
7). Complement the soup adding a bit of acidity with a dash of lemon juice.
8). Add S&P as desired. Puree with the Bamix Immersion Wand or leave as is.
9). Garnish with cilantro (Optional)
A speedy, healthy, simple, yet formal looking soup to whip up is by using frozen peas and yogurt.
4 frozen peas thawed
3 paper-thin slices of Iberico or Serrano ham
1/3 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup heavy cream warmed
½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon chopped tarragon
1/3 cup fresh ricotta
S & P to Taste
Pea shoots to make it elegant
1). Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay ham on a Fox Run - Non-Stick Baking Mat, Silicone, 16.5-Inch x 24.5-Inch. Bake for 5 minutes and let sit to self-crisp.
2). Place your thawed peas, and place in the Cuisinart - Elemental 8 Cup Food Processor.
3). Puree along with the yogurt, tarragon, and vinegar to the peas.
4). Pulse in cream and transfer to the Zwilling J.A.Henckels - Truclad 2QT Saucepan with Lid
5). Heat to soupy goodness hot.
6). Add the S & P & Cayenne
7). Top with the shoots, cheese, Spanish ham of choice, and 3 in-tact peas left over from the bag.
These three recipes elevate split pea soup into the main meal on a cold, or any, night. Many variations can be found in your region regarding peas. Over 1,000 varieties in over 15 countries produce this P. sativum and P. fulvum domestication from over 11,000 years ago research indicates. Great protein, vegetarian, and very inexpensive. Split pea soup is a well cultured, simple meal throughout time.