10.26.2010

new wknd recipe: split pea soup (and barefoot contessa cookbook launch day!).

Until I met Eddie, I didn't realize how much I really loved soup.
I used to underestimate soup's complexity and satisfying potential, but thanks to Eddie, and some good go-to recipes, I find myself craving a warm bowl of ... anything, especially around this time of year. Soup's one-stop-pot cooking and plentiful, freezer-friendly leftovers makes me love it even more.

Split pea is one of Eddie's favorites, and I made it for the first time from scratch over the weekend, sans homemade chicken stock. I turned to The BC for this hearty, easy meal that made the house smell divine. Most of your energy is spent chopping only four things: garlic, onion, red potatoes and carrots. The star of the show comes from a bag (which, at our market, was a whole 99 cents). Your stove top does the rest so you can get on with your day. How easy is that?
Parker's Split Pea Soup from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (p. 73)
Serves: 5 to 6

1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 to 3 potatoes)
1 pound dried split peas
8 cups chicken stock or water

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper until the onions are translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam with a spoon while cooking.

Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom.

Taste for salt and pepper before serving hot (preferably, with a big hunk of a husband. I mean, bread.).

Note: When I saw this soup featured on The BC's Back for the Weekend episode, she explained that you get some crunch in the soup by reserving 1/2 of the peas to add half-way through the cooking process. Ah. Haaah.

Lastly, and with the most accidental, yet very appropriate timing - today's post coincides with the release of The BC's new cookbook, How Easy Is That? Yahoo! Big Girls, Small Kitchen featured a great one-on-one one with Ina Garten yesterday. Sink your teeth into this fascinating interview from the 20-something cooks on what inspires her, how to make mis-matched flatware work and her simple entertaining philosophy.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Alison,
I've seen that recipe and wanted to try it---you've provided the inspiration, thank you.

I've ordered my How Easy is That? from amazon---I'll have it in 2 days. I'm heading over to the interview, thanks for the link.