Archive for the 'soup' Category

Ham & Split Pea Soup

pea soup 1 Ham & Split Pea Soup

Working for the weekend is never as fun as when the Expo is in town. For the past few years I’ve been charged with keeping the celebrities and their agents well fed in the gold room – the past 4 days have been a bit of a crazy fun no sleep cooking marathon, but getting to hang out and chat with Danny Glover (who – have I mentioned? – kissed me), Bill Paxton, John Ratzenburger, Matt Smith and the like made it totally worth chopping eight thousand bunches of kale (for this salad, which C-3PO loved!) and peeling about as many sweet potatoes for pots of soup I’ll tell you about soon.

But there was another soup – ham and split pea was requested by Barry Bostwick – ironically, I think I’ve posted twice about the Expo, and both times it was pea soup by request. Previously by Tia Carrere. (If I were to guess what a popular food request from big LA movie stars might be, and if I was allowed to make a million guesses, split pea soup would not even make that list.)

I’m thinking there are likely a few remnants of Easter ham taking up valuable freezer space out there. Split pea soup needs to be made. There is no acceptable canned variety, is there?

pea soup 2 Ham & Split Pea Soup

Ham & Split Pea Soup

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 meaty ham bone
3 cups dry green or yellow dried split peas
a handful (a cup or two) small red or yellow-skinned potatoes, quartered
a few sprigs of thyme
8 cups (2 L) chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat a generous drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion, celery and carrots for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the ham bone, split peas, potatoes, thyme and stock, grind over a good amount of pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or until the peas are nice and soft. (The potatoes will be too – if you like them a little more firm, add them to the pot halfway through the cooking time.)

Stir, mashing the mixture up against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon to create some pea puree along with the chunks. Taste and season with salt and pepper if it needs it, and serve hot.

Serves 8.

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April 28 2014 | soup | 15 Comments »

Potato-Cheddar Chowder

Chowder Potato Cheddar Chowder

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cookbook writer. No lie. I know I’ve told this story before, of how I learned to read with a stack of cookbooks, and have had a few (or more) beside my bed ever since. And how my heroes were Elizabeth Baird and Lucy Waverman and Rose Murray and Jean Paré – all of whom were Canadian home cooks bringing good food to the masses, pre-Food Network and interwebs.

Times have changed… recipes are rarely clipped out of the newspaper anymore, but more of us (so many!) are writing and sharing them. They’re emailed/pinned/liked rather than written on cards to pass along, which is perfectly okay, but I admit I’m a little nostalgic about it. What’s the future of cookbooks? When Elizabeth Baird wrote her first back in 1974, 6 cookbooks were published that year. SIX. These days there are so many, and they’re all beautiful. I can’t keep up. And here I am working on another, which is completely amazing and yet seems a little ridiculous to be writing about something and knowing it won’t work its way through to the masses for a year. Anyway.

potato chowder 21 Potato Cheddar Chowder

I have plans here, as soon as this book is submitted and we go to Vegas for a couple days to celebrate next week (which was also a last-minute Christmas gift for Mike) – and I really can hardly wait to get started, or at least focused, on it. Doing renos here are tougher than on your own house (not that I’ve managed either), I swear. But my plan is this: to make this site more of a recipe resource, with a focus on searchability and a few surprises, sort of a cookbook-in-the-works for forever.

What do you think? It’s all about you, you know.

Meanwhile, I’m hammering out an old-school manuscript in 12 point Times font, double-spaced, due in a little over a week. As a result, most of what we’re eating around here are tests made to chip away at the list, or crackers and cheese for dinner. And then there was this soup – a Lynn Crawford formula so simple it barely needs description. What it needs are comfy slippers and stretchy jeans and a couch.

Potato-Cheddar Chowder

This is a fairly basic soup recipe, similar to one I used to make quite often with sausage in it, but it comes via the awesome Lynn Crawford.

2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 leek, chopped (white and pale green part only)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 lb russet or thin-skinned yellow potatoes, diced
Salt and pepper
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
1 cup heavy (whipping) or 18% coffee cream
1 cup grated old cheddar

In a medium pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, leek, carrots, celery and potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until the veggies are beginning to brown. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. With a hand-held immersion blender, purée about half of the soup, right in the pot, until smooth. (Alternatively scoop some out and puree it in the blender, then return it to the pot.)

Stir in the cream and heat through, then stir in the cheddar and remove the pot from the heat. Stir until the cheese melts, then serve hot. Serves 4.

pixel Potato Cheddar Chowder
button print gry20 Potato Cheddar Chowder

January 23 2014 | soup | 11 Comments »

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