Easy Peasy Soup, Maslin Bread and Chardonnay
Easy Peasy Soup (really Split Pea Soup) works as a companion to a 1938 issue of Life magazine, because it's a soup that has really fallen out of favor in the last seventy or so years. The only time I've ever seen Split Pea Soup on a menu is at the restaurant at the Golden Gate Hotel in Las Vegas. It's probably because it doesn't look that great. However--it tastes fabulous, it's a doddle to make and it's cheap. If you made my Irish Boiled Ham and saved the stock (you should always save the stock!), the hardest part is over. All that's left is soaking the peas and then throwing the soaked peas and the ham stock into a pot and cooking. That's really it.
Easy Peasy Soup
1 lb split peas (about 2 cups)
3 quarts homemade ham stock
sea salt, if needed
freshly-ground black pepper
chopped parsley, to garnish
First off, you need to soak the peas for about three days, draining them and changing the water twice a day. This not only softens the peas, but “pre-digests” them.
After the peas have been soaked, drain them once more and rinse them off. Put them in a stockpot and add the ham stock. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for four hours. Be sure to put a lid on the pan, because you want the peas to break down, but you don’t want the stock to evaporate.
Before serving, check to make sure your soup is salty enough (this will depend on your ham stock). If not, add sea salt to taste. Add pepper to taste. You’ll want to whisk vigorously (or even immersion blend) to keep soup from separating. Divide soup into bowls and serve with the parsley on top.
Soup can be refrigerated or frozen (for up to a year), just hold off on the parsley.
Yields eight 1 1/2-cup servings
Adapted from “Split Pea Soup” in Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, 1950.
View recipe at Scribd
What's this about soaking peas? This recipe uses sinfully cheap split peas, which you'll find on the rice and beans aisle of your grocery store by the dried beans or maybe in the bulk section. The package says to soak them overnight, but it's really better to soak them for about three days or so. Put them in a large bowl, cover them with cold water and let them sit out on the counter. Drain them and change the water twice a day. This actually pre-digests the peas--meaning the peas pass their own gas. Yup, it's gross but quite amazing. It works with dried beans, as well. And it works fabulously.
If you'd like to know what was going on this week in 1938, be sure to head over to Google Books to read the September 12th issue of Life. Here are items I found interesting:
In Midst of War Games Hitler Plays Politics with Hungary
White Supremacy Helps Beat the Purge in SC
Mrs. America 1938
John Roosevelt Starts Work at Filene's
Hungary: The Kingless Kingdom, Wooed by Germany, Clamors for Lost Lands
Styl-eez Shoe Ad
Herald of Fashion Ad
Dalmatians at Deauville
Polaroid: This New Wonder Makes Light Behave
Art and Photography
English Landscape Paintings in America
England is an Old and Beautiful Land
How to do the Lambeth Walk (listen on YouTube)