Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Cause Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's not officially winter yet, nor really, really cold, but the temps have dropped appreciably (or unappreciated-ly) over the last week. It's dark when I wake up in the morning and dark when I walk home from work in the afternoon, and Blog O. Food's nesting instincts are kicking in. That means fewer trips into Manhattan, wooly socks and sweat pants for lounging around the apartment at night, and comfort food. Belly-warmin', spectacle-steamin', hot-off-off-the-stove comfort food.
This dish is a take-off on a springtime recipe when peas are in season and you can get 'em fresh off the vine. I could have made split pea soup, but I like the puréed texture of the whole peas better. Plus, buried deep somewhere, are repressed memories of split pea soup from my elementary school days. We'll let those sleeping dogs lie, eh?
Pea Soup
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups peas
  • 1½ cups sourdough bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 1½ Tbsp dried herbs: thyme, basil, tarragon, etc
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Start by tossing cubed sourdough bread with olive oil and dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet. Toast croutons in a 375° pre-heated oven until just browned, about 12 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they will turn from golden to burnt toast with alarming speed. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add onions, salt & pepper and sweat over medium heat, stirring often. When soft, but not browned, add stock and bring to a boil. Add peas and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring periodically, until the peas are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Pour back into the pot and heat just to warm through. Serve in rustic ceramic bowls - bartered from a local Duchess County pilgrim - garnished with croutons.
Even with frozen peas, there was a brightness to this simple soup, and just a hint of saltiness. Missing was that gummy consistency and bitterness you can get from split pea soup. Feeling fat deprived? Plop a generous dollop of sour cream into the soup before adding the croutons!
Sometimes, I'll brown off some cubed pancetta, drain really well on paper towels then add to the purée. If you do that, do not salt the soup until you've added the pork and heated it back up, then adjust your seasonings.
That ought to keep you warm 'til bedtime!
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food

1 comment:

"Maitreya " - Ban said...
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