Sunday, February 08, 2009
Here's a dish I literally turned my nose up at when I was a kid. But like many other foods, I've developed a fondness for this as an adult. It all started with the annual pilgrimmage that Dean and I make down to Palm Springs. We usually try to stop at Andersen's Pea Soup for a bowl of the restaurant's signature dish.
With the cold, wet weather we've been having lately, I've been in the mood for the smoky goodness of this comfort food. I scouted around on the internet and found some interesting variations over at 101 Cookbooks, the Food Network, and A Year of Crockpotting.
Here's my take on this comfort food classic.
SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 lb dried split peas
4 strips bacon
1 onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic
6 cups water
2 tablespoons "Better than Bouillion" chicken base
1 tablespoon garam masala
salt and pepper to taste
1) Pick through the split peas for foreign particles. Rinse.
2) In a large pot, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove and place on paper-towel lined plate. Crumble the bacon.
3) Add onions and garlic to the bacon grease. Cook for 3 minutes.
4) Add 1 cup of water and quickly scrape off the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining water.
5) Add the dry split peas, chicken base, and garam masala. Bring the water to a boil.
6) Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.
7) Remove from heat. Place half of the soup in a blender and puree. Pour pureed soup back into the pot and stir.
8) Salt and pepper to taste.
9) To serve, ladle soup into bowl and top with crumbled bacon.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Ed's 1st Note: Thanks to my honey for helping me to stage this shot. All my previous attempts looked like green gloop in a white bowl.
Ed's 2nd Note: The garam masala gives this recipe a nice "smokiness." For extra smoky flavor, I used some of the Saltworks smoked sea salt I picked up at the Fancy Food Show.