Saturday, May 14, 2016

PLEASE MORE PEAS

Mock Turtle singing BEAUTIFUL SOUP as illustrated by John Tenniel (1866)

BEAUTIFUL SOUP
Words by Lewis Carroll
From ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!
Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!
Soo – oop of the e – e – evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!
Beau – ootiful Soo – oop!
Soo – oop of the e – e – evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!


Guest Food Blogger
Meet Kim Hruba, Warroad, Minnesota
Kim is the editor of Our 6 Lakes Link Newsletter, Hackensack, MN. Her business Red Shoes Writing Solutions provides personalized service, tailoring your project to the energy and vocabulary you require to reach your audience. She can help you
Clarify your message
Create energetic text
Engage your audience
Write clean copy
Save you time
Contact Kim at http://redshoeswriting.com/services/ for more information on her services. 
Kim is also the author of "Elevator Girl" 


More information about Kim's book can be found at http://redshoeswriting.com/books/
Kim is also a busy mom of five children. Pea soup is the perfect comfort food to satisfy all their appetites. 
Split Pea Soup
by Kim Hruba
Cook's notes by Kim: I love homemade soup. It’s warm, it’s fresh. It can be part of a meal or served as the main course. You can work with whatever you have on hand and it feeds a lot of people – a big plus in my family of seven! Soup is something that is so easy, yet, for whatever reason, I used to think it was so difficult to make. After all, isn’t it just sticking a bunch of stuff in a pot and cooking it? Yes!

I consider soup recipes to be more like guidelines than protocol. (Cake on the other hand, is a different story.) Here’s a play-by-play breakdown of how I adapted a Split Pea Soup recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer
 Ingredients and Directions:
1. Combine in a soup pot: (I have a soup pot, but any kind of pot that will hold all the ingredients works too.) 
2. 1 pound split green peas (about 2 cups)
3. 1 small ham hock - I used the bone from our Easter ham. * (I’m too lazy/cheap to purchase an actual ham hock.)
4. 8 cups cold water - I add more water until either my ham bone is covered, or it looks like enough to feed my family.
*If you don’t use a ham bone, you can also dice up some regular ham and throw that in later. (See below.) 

5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
(If you forget about the soup and it simmers longer, that’s okay.)
At this point, I like to remove the ham bone for several reasons. First, usually way more than an hour has passed before I remember to add the next set of ingredients and the marrow has been cooked sufficiently out of the bone. Secondly, I like to give it time to cool down before I dice the meat. Third, cooking the meat for too long (which I’m prone to do when I forget it’s on the stove.) can make the meat lose its flavor. Lastly, I don’t like it when the softened vegetables stick to the ham bone when I pull it out. 

6. Stir in:
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced - or 2 -3 carrots, personal preference
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced -I use the whole stalk, leaves and all
  • 1 medium onion, diced - Whatever size is work for you.
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced - I use 3 or 4 because our family loves garlic 
  • 1 bouquet garni - A what?! Throw in some rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf. Maybe some basil or oregano? (Whatever sounds good and is in the pantry.) 
  • optional 1 p0tato If I’ve been overzealous with adding water and I want the soup to be creamy instead of um, watery – I might dice up a potato to help thicken it up. 
7. Simmer until the ham hock, vegetables and peas are tender about 1 hour more.
8. Season with salt as the meat and bone usually do the job just fine and you want the salt to make the flavors of the other ingredients shine, not overpower them and lots of ground black pepper to taste
9. Remove the ham hock. Discard the bone, skin and fat; (But if your bone is still in the pot at this time, no worries, just take it out.) 
10. Dice the meat. Return it to the soup. For a thicker soup, simmer to desired consistency. Stir to blend before serving. 

11. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with: croutons or fresh baguette (made from my absolute FAVORITE bread cookbook, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François). 
 Kim

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