Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Pea Soup Chronicles
I have to come clean: I've made pea soup a bunch of times without learning anything.
The soups are fine. They do the trick. Margy likes them pretty well. They're just not as good as those I aspire to equal or even surpass. My pea soup, for instance, is inferior to the one you find at your local NYC Pax deli. And I can't quite deal with that.
I start with bacon, or ham hock, or pancetta. No problem there. (This time it was bacon.) I sauté the meat and render its fat, and then I add finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery. This time I also threw in a large clove of minced garlic. Once I've added rinsed dried split peas and water, I salt and pepper the brew and sometimes toss in a hint of spices like cumin and coriander. There's nothing wrong with any of this, but I need to up the ante, get some more flavor going somehow.
I think I have to try using stock instead of water, or at least a combination of the two. Looks like it's time to roast a chicken. I'll keep you posted.
A side note: This salad reflects the last weekend of my town's farmers market. As if setting the clocks back weren't depressing enough, now I have to suffer a lack of locally grown produce. The arugula I bought most Sundays (here mixed with spinach) was unparalleled, and the tiny beets that Margy found so adorable will be greatly missed. I tried to give my purveyors (even the pompous Red Sox fan among them -- where did she come from?) a cheerful "Have a great winter," or "See ya next season," but inside I was bumming out big time. I'm going to hang on to those last few fingerlings for a while, just for old times' sake...