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Old 12-13-2005, 06:17 PM   #1
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Yellow Split-Pea Soup

Speaking of warm comfort foods....here's something I really love. A little time-consuming (you gotta watch the stove!), but worth it. It can be done with traditional green split-peas, but the yellow split-peas won't remind you of The Exorcist.

(sorry if it seems over-simplified; I originally posted it to be as "fool-proof" as possible)

one (1-pound) bag, dried yellow split-peas (about 8 1/2 cups)

2 14.5-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth*
1 14.5-ounce can beef broth*
(* or, substitute 1.5 quarts of home made broth: chicken, beef, or vegetable)

1 TBS unsalted butter

1 TBS olive oil

1 medium-sized red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

3 to 4 stalks celery, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

about 1/4 pound finely-diced ham or prosciutto (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, diced)

1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic (depending on your taste), minced

1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

1/4 tsp dried dill weed

1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1 to 2 cups water, as needed

about 1/4 cup freshly-chopped parsley (for garnish)

First, thoroughly rinse the dried split-peas in cool water; drain them in a strainer, then rinse again. Set aside, with the strainer over a bowl. Do not use a collander; the split-peas will just fall through!

In a large (2-quart or larger) pot, add the butter and olive oil, over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and a bit foamy, add the onion and the ham/prosciutto. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, allow the mixture to brown slightly. Do not reduce the heat.

After about 3 to 4 minutes, add the celery and the garlic. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. At this point, it won't brown much more.

Add all of the broth to the pot; be careful, the first couple of ounces will probably vaporize very quickly. Don't get burned! Raise the heat to medium-high, and allow the mixture to begin to boil. When it's boiling, carefully dump in the rinsed split-peas....they tend to stick together, so watch out for splashing.

At this point, add the basil, thyme, dill, and cayenne pepper. Hold off adding the salt and black pepper until the end of the cooking process. Stir the mixture, and allow it to return to a gentle boil. Place a vented lid on the pot (or, place a non-vented lid on, but leave it at an angle to allow steam to escape). Reduce heat to low, and forget about it for about 20-30 minutes.

After the soup has simmered for 20-30 minutes, give it a good stir. The peas should have begun to break down by this point; alot of "pea material" will settle to the bottom of the pot (sorry, I can't think of a nicer way to describe that!). Replace the vented lid, and allow the soup to simmer gently for another 30-45 minutes. At this point, though, you'll want to check on it every 10 minutes or so. If it's getting too thick or boiling too rapidly, add about 1/4 cup of the water. After 10 more minutes, you can add more water, if necessary. The idea is to have a soup that's thick, but NOT dough-like. Also, keep in mind that the soup will thicken all by itself when it's in the serving bowl.

When the soup is fully cooked, there shouldn't be any real pieces of split-peas left.

Now is the time to taste the soup, for seasoning. Add some fresh-ground black pepper, to taste, but be careful with the salt! The broth already has salt in it, and so does the ham (or the prosciutto).

When ready, ladle the soup into bowls; top with fresh, chopped parsley. Like any hearty soup, this stuff is best served with some nice, crusty bread alongside. You might also try grating some Romano or Parmesan cheese onto the soup.

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Old 12-13-2005, 06:45 PM   #2
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It looks soooooo good!

Would you think I was awful if I added a few chopped potatoes and carrots?
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:15 PM   #3
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Oh my goodness does that look good ... not to ruin your wonderful recipe (and you did a great job presenting it simply!) but do you think you could saute the onion, ham, garlic and celery then move to a crock pot to sit and simmer for the day with the other yummy "stuff"? Ever tried it?
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:07 AM   #4
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looks good brickman. well written description for us laymen, thanks. my only change would be that pea soup NEEDS to begin with a piece of rendered salt pork.
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Old 12-14-2005, 07:07 AM   #5
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Gorgeous recipe Brickman, I adore split peas - thanks so much for sharing this with us
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
one (1-pound) bag, dried yellow split-peas (about 8 1/2 cups)
You must have some very light split peas. Where I come from two cups of split peas equal one pound.

I'm going to try your recipe today. It sounds too good to wait for the weekend.
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:58 AM   #7
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Great recipe and we love soups here. It's a keeper. Thanks for posting.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:13 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone. Glad you think it sounds good...go ahead and modify to your hearts' content; it won't hurt my feelings at all

No, seriously.

Actually, my Mom's recipe calls for a couple of smoked ham hocks to be simmered along w/ everything else. Then the meat is pulled from the bones, chopped up & returned to the soup. I'm not nuts about ham hocks, and besides, that sounds like too much work!

--J
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:26 PM   #9
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This weight to volume conversion table says 1 cup (volume) of split peas is about 6.75 ounces (weight).

Only water ("a pint's a pound") has a perfect one-to-one conversion, though many things are close.

So a 16 ounce bag of dry split peas is a bit shy of 2 1/2 cups but much less than 8 1/2 cups.
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:06 AM   #10
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...jeez, I'm a dolt! You're all correct, a pound of dried split-peas ain't nowhere near 8+ cups. Unfortunately, spell check doesn't understand that

But the 1-pound bag quantity is right...you don't even have to measure...just rinse 'em and you're off!

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