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Old 10-25-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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Split Pea Soup

In that wondrous book, "The Joy of Cooking" paperback version purchased in the late 1970's, I learned a technique called Binding the soup, which prevents the solids in pea soup from settling to the pot bottom. I have used it many, many times, and with great success. But I have also made pea soup that remained homogenized without having to bind it. I will give both techniques here as they are both valid, and you can use whichever you like best. I will also give the advantages of each. And lastly, I give you a recipe for split pea soup, Canadian Style that is equally delicious, but quite different in flavor.

Split pea soup #1 Bound

*16 oz package green split peas
*Coarse-Ground Black Pepper
*1 large yellow onion, diced
*2 large carrots, thinly sliced
*Pork, your choice - ham bone, ham hock, pork bones, cubed Boston Butt
3 tbs. Butter
3 tbs. all purpose flour

Wash peas in a fine mesh strainer, rinsing out any floaters or foreign objects such as pebbles. Measure the peas and place into a 3 quart soup pot. Add twice the volume of the peas in water to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the meat, and or bones. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients , except the salt and pepper, and cook for another half hour, again covered and over low heat.

Test the peas by spooning out just a few, and biting them. There should be no crunch. If there is, cook for an additional 20 minutes. Again test. When the peas are soft, remove the bone. Add salt and pepper, a tsp. at a time, and stir in. Test and correct the seasoning to your taste. add one extra cup of water to the soup.

Melt 3 tbs. butter in a saute pan. Add 3 tbs. flour and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux over medium heat until it turns blonde. Ladle a half cup of the soup broth into the roux while stirring, to form a paste. Add more broth to form a thick sauce. Add the sauce to the soup and stir in until all is silky smooth. If you like your pea soup creamy, remove all meat and use an immersion blender to make it velvety smooth. Put the meat back in and serve.

The advantage of this peas soup, with the pea solids bound by the roux, is that it is milder in flavor than without the roux. It is silky smooth and can luxurious in the mouth. It may also be enjoyed by those who are not so crazy about straight pea soup as the flavor is more subtle.

Split Pea Soup #2

*16 oz package green split peas
*Coarse-Ground Black Pepper
*1 large yellow onion, diced
*2 large carrots, thinly sliced
*Pork, your choice - ham bone, ham hock, pork bones, cubed Boston Butt
*WaterWash and clean the split peas. Add twice the volume of water as volume of peas to a 3 quart soup pot. Bring to a boil. Add the bones/meat, cover and simmer over low heat for 1.5 hours. Test the peas. they should be soft. add the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Cook for 30 mintues more. Remove the bones and meat. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender, or simply stir with a spoon until smooth. Add the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. You might add a couple drops of liquid smoke if you desire, then stir in.

This soup is slightly grainy, but has a more robust split pea flavor. It is thick enough that the pea solids suspend themselves without seperating to the pot bottom. If you like a heavier soup, then this is the one to use.

Split Pea Soup #3, Canadian Style
Though I love all three of the recipes given, this is my favorite. It is patterned after a brand of Canadian Pea Soup available in my home town called Habitant, Candian Pea Soup, but is richer in flavor, aka Goodweed style. Because it uses yellow split peas, the flavor is more delicate, but rich at the same time. Try it. It just might become your favorite too.

*16 oz. package yellow split peas
*Pork bones or cubed pork steaks with bones
*1 large white onion, diced
*1/4 cup cream

Add all ingredients to a large soup pot, except the salt and pepper, and cream. Bring everything to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1.5 hours. Test the peas. When tender, add salt, and pepper to the soup to taste. add a little at a time, stir in to dissolve the salt, and repeat after tasting until it tastes great to you. Add the cream and stir in. Remove the bones and sitr. Don't blend this one. Serve with a good, rustic bread, whole grain of course.

Just becasue I'm Goodweed, and can't leave well enough alone, you might try substituting chicken bones and meat for the pork in the yellow split pea soup. Playing the flavors around in my head, it should be pretty tasty.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North


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Old 10-25-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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Split pea soup is a favorite of mine. I don't know anyone who likes it but me; so, if I want it, I have to make it for myself. Always looking for new ideas and yours all sound good!!

Can't recall seeing yellow peas in the store; but will look more carefully next visit and try your recipe if I find them.


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Old 12-01-2009, 02:31 PM   #3
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Joy of Cooking....great book..

When I was a kid, I'd gag at the word split pea. I'm now 145 years old and it's one of my favorites. Goodweed, that was the first soup I made from scratch and it was from the blue diamond cover of The Joy...... What made a believer out of me was the chicken stock recipe I used from the book. It's the foundation of great soups.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Randy_ View Post
Split pea soup is a favorite of mine. I don't know anyone who likes it but me...
You're not alone! I make it for myself about six times a year. My version is very close to #2 recipe listed above, although without any graininess. Letting it cook and soften an hour or so longer before using the immersion blender does wonders. I also add just a splash of white wine for a real flavor boost.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:05 PM   #5
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Someone, pleast tell me more about yellow split peas. I have looked in all three of the grocery stores that are my usual food supplierts and none of them had yellow split peas.

Is this a speciality item that is going to be hard to find or am I just unlucky??
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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We have it in ours. Try a specialty food store, like a health food store. I know that sometimes it might be in the health food section of the grocery store, too.

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Old 12-01-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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I take it there is a difference in flavor between the green and the yellow split peas. Anyone care to take a shot at derscribing the difference??
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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MY grandmother made a great vegetable soup using the yellow split peas as kind of a base. Im going off the top of my head on this one.

1 heaping cup of yellow split peas
1 10 oz package of white mushrooms quartered
1 onion chopped
1 tomato quartered
5 garlic cloves minced
1 carrot diced
1 celery stalk diced
16 string beans cut in abut 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup of barley
1/4 cup dried baby lima beans
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into a pot
cover with water to about 1 inch higher than everything else
add the salt to taste
bring to boil and simmer until the baby lima beans are soft enough to eat ( usually about 45 minutes to an hour)

As far as the green split pea soup goes, some of my favorite additions to the basic split pea soup are :

Served with :
Small cubes of Jarlsberg cheese
fried onions
Sliced hot dogs ( vegetarian for me )
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:01 AM   #9
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I love split pea soup and I also eat the majority of it. DH usually eats one bowl and no more. I like pieces of peas in my soup along with the pureed. While cooking, once the peas get to the al dente stage I take out about a cup of them and set them aside. I let the rest cook down to mush, once the soup is done I stir back in the reserved peas. Quite tasty!
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
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Randy, I ONLY use yellow split peas. They are readily available here in the same section as the lentils, rice and other grains. If you have trouble in the specialty stores PM me and I'll send you some in the mail to try.

Yellow peas are a less aggressive flavor. They are to me, less bitter.

My pea soup is pretty haphazard compared to GW's recipes. I just take a couple of ham bones or whatever pork bones I have in the freezer and simmer them til the meat falls off and the flavor is sucked out of the bones. Then I strain it, and toss in a bag of split peas (yellow always) and let it simmer all day. I've never thought of binding the soup though, I always just stir it well before serving. Thanks for that tip GW, I'll do that next time.

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