Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Scandinavian Yellow Pea Soup - Crock-Pot
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is one of my favorite soups. It was made in the German and Swedish kitchens of my childhood with very different ingredients and results. I usually sided with Hannie when it came to soup, but the truth was, not only did Mrs. P make a better pea soup, she made it every Thursday.
This is a photo, courtesy of David Ryan, of the now grown Anthony, recreating the famous run that convinced us all that Wednesday was spaghetti day in Boston's North End. Anthony's story and a wonderful walk down memory lane can be found here. While Anthony ran home for spaghetti, the Scandinavians in Chicago were busy making potato sausage to accompany the yellow pea soup they served every Thursday night. Mrs. P was a story teller and loved to recount the tale of good King Erik XIV who was poisoned with a bowl of arsenic laced pea soup. Believe me when I say I watched every step she took as she made her soup. What I most liked about it was the smoky undertone it developed. Anyone who has ever made pea soup knows it cooks very quickly. Not so, that made by Mrs. P. She began her soup on Wednesday night with a large slab of uncut bacon that was put in a pot and covered with water to simmer overnight. The following morning she would remove the bacon, skim the broth and add the yellow split peas and vegetables needed to finish the soup. While the soup simmered she would dice the bacon and lightly fry it until it browned and crisped a bit. She refused to use any other meat to flavor the broth. She pureed the soup but added cubed carrots, potatoes, bacon and ham or sausage to it just before it was served. It was wonderful. I have, over the years, altered her recipe a bit. The biggest change is that I now make it in a crock-pot. Here's how it's done.
Scandinavian Yellow Pea Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 pound unsliced slab bacon
2 quarts water
2 cups yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 cup chopped onion
1-3/4 cups diced carrots, divided use
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup diced boiling potatoes
1 cup diced cooked ham
1) The night before serving, place bacon into crock-pot. Cover with 2 quarts water. Cover and cook on LOW for 12 hours. Remove bacon. Skim broth.
2) Place split peas in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Pick over and discard any discolored peas. Add peas to crock-pot with onions, 1 cup carrots, thyme and bay leaf. Cover and continue to cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
3) Just before soup is done, place reserved 3/4 cup carrots and potatoes in a microwave dish, cover, and cook on HIGH power for 2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. If you are going to use bacon, cut it into uniform dice and brown it in a frying pan set over medium heat. Set aside.
4) Puree soup, using a blender, food processor or immersion blender. Add carrots, potatoes, ham and bacon, if using to soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through. Yield: 6 servings.
This post is being linked to:
Crock-Pot Wednesday an event sponsored by Deb at Dining with Debbie.
Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday