Summer tells me she's going to bring more party sweets to the table later this evening, but until then, please enjoy this offering of warm pea soup. Portland is currently under a blanket of snow and ice, with below-freezing temperatures keeping everyone bundled up indoors. However, stir-crazy happens to the best of us, and for me, it usually happens within 10 minutes of realizing I can't go anywhere or do anything, ha! After a completely boring day indoors yesterday, I layered myself in what felt like 30 pairs of leggings, stuffed my son into a pile of sweaters, and walked to the grocery store just to kill some time. It was chilly, but I knew it was worth it when inspiration struck in the bulk dry goods aisle- split pea soup! I grabbed about a pound of bright green peas and started poking around the meat department looking for something bacony- some pancetta did the trick.
It's supposed to be below freezing for the rest of the week, so I planned for LOTS of leftovers. I made like a gallon of soup tonight! It's going to be so great tomorrow afternoon.
Here's what I did:
1 pound (about 3 cups) of dried split peas
1/2 a pound of pancetta
about 8 cups of vegetable broth
2 onions, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 potato, diced
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
bay leaf, salt & pepper
In a very large pot, fry pancetta with a small splash of olive oil until crispy and browned. Remove from heat and spoon out all the pancetta onto a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Place back on heat and saute veggies until onions are glassy and begin to soften. Add broth (it is best if you bring it up to temperature in a separate pot beforehand) and stir. Add potatoes, then peas (rinse first), and bring to a boil. Turn heat down, season, and simmer for about an hour, or until peas become soft and soup thickens. Sprinkle with crunchy pancetta before serving.
Man, my table was full of all the very best B's tonight- beer, bread, butter, bacon (well, pancetta is basically bacon)- very rich, very satisfying on an icy cold evening.