Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pea Chowder

I’m not sure how I’ve never had split pea soup in my lifetime. Peas are probably one of my favorite vegetables (despite the high carbohydrates) so it should have been a natural transition, but I suppose my mom must not have liked it and that’s why she never fixed it. Wednesday we saw the end of Tropical Storm Hermine roll through DFW, and when all was said and done we’d had over 9” of rain at our house which left everything soggy and well, blah. At some point I’d picked up a bag of dried split peas so I decided soup was my goal and set off to find a recipe. None of the half dozen I scoured did I have all of the ingredients for and since I’d never actually eaten split pea soup I had no idea how it was supposed to taste. This is my version, and we all loved it. Maybe one day I’ll taste the real thing and adjust the recipe but for now this is pretty tasty.
Pea Chowder
Yield: 8 servings

3 strips thick peppered bacon, diced*
½ cup diced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
4 small red potatoes, diced
1 lb (16oz bag) dried split peas, picked through and rinsed
1 tsp. dried basil
3 quarts water or chicken stock
Kosher salt**

In a large stock pot, sauté the bacon and onion in a generous drizzle of EVOO over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked through. Add in the carrots and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. *If you don’t have peppered bacon on hand, add 1 tsp. black pepper.

Put potatoes, peas and basil in the stock pot and cover with water/stock. (Depending on your pot you may need slightly more liquid; you want it to be a good 2-3” over the potatoes). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Taste for salt and adjust to your liking. **If you’re using stock, use less salt. The potatoes will naturally absorb the salt so start small and add to taste.

Simmer for one hour over medium low heat, stirring often to keep potatoes from scorching. You may serve as it, or I prefer to run my immersion blender though a couple of times to puree some of the chunks.

Serve with biscuits, like these from Annie's Eats.

Love, KC

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