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KotW: Green Split Pea Soup October 9, 2008

Posted by schizodigestive in Kip of the Week, soups and stews.

According to my mother, this recipe originated in the 19th century. But she made it a little bit different than her mother did, and I make it a little bit different than she did… so, after maybe 150 years, it’s pretty special. I try to hold this back during spring and summer, so I’ll really appreciate it when the rain and cold weather come.

3 quarts chicken stock
1 cup dried split peas
one large onion
1 (big Russet) to 4-5 (little Yukon gold) potatoes
one bay leaf
4-6 cloves garlic
4 medium carrots
1 lb. sausage (chicken apple, andouille, bratwurst, hot dogs)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried dill OR dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt to taste
sriracha to taste (start with about two tablespoons)

Reserve 2 cups of the chicken stock. Bring the remaining 2 1/2 quarts to a boil in a 6-quart pot. Peel the onion and stick a metal or bamboo skewer all the way through, or a toothpick from one side to the center. Wash the potatoes and skin the garlic.

Add the split peas to the stock, bring back to a boil, and stir constantly till the peas start to swell, 3 to 5 minutes. Cover the pot, turn OFF the flame and let the soup stand for 15 to 20 minutes. (This prevents the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot.) Then bring just to a boil once more, stirring.

Add the onion, potatoes and bay leaf. Cover and put over a very low flame, or in a 275° oven, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Pare and slice the carrots and slice the sausage. Remove the bay leaf and the skewer/toothpick. Halve the onion.

In a food processor, chop the garlic, then puree the onion and potatoes thoroughly, adding 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock. Pour the onion/potato/garlic puree into the soup pot, through a coarse strainer, probably pushing it a bit with a spoon, and discard the bits of skin. Rinse the tank with the second cup of stock and add that too. Bring soup back to the boil, turn down the heat, stir with a wire whisk — it tends to stick at this point — and cook for about 10 more minutes. You’ll know when it’s been long enough, because the puree will incorporate fully and the soup will become slightly thinner.

Add the carrots, sausage, spices, herbs, and sriracha, and cook over a low flame just till carrots are tender. Salt to taste (mine needed about 1/2 teaspoon) and serve.

Cornbread is good with this.

© /KC October 2008



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