Monday, December 15, 2008

split pea soup with pancetta.


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.



Tolovana said...

We made split pea soup tonight, too!

I waffled over pancetta vs smoked hog jowl, and the older of the two (the jowl) won. We had ours sans-garlic (both of us are allergic), with buttery biscuits, and a few tipples of whiskey.

Rich, but oh so wonderful, on a rare icy-cold snow-laden Portland night.

marissa said...

oh you make me so happy, I've been looking for a new split pea recipe

meet me at mikes - crafty! said...

We had red lentil last night! Soup-de-licious! My your pots are shiny!

Kathy said...

i just made this and it is *awesome*

thank you thank you thank you :)

na said...

Wow that looks so yummy! I will def be trying this recipe.

Bella Mills said...

Oh this is fantastic. I live in Australia, at an elevation of about 1000 metres so (being autumn) my town is starting to cool right off. Today it is overcast and cold so soup is definitely on the menu.

I loved the idea of pancetta on your split pea soup. Tonight I had planned on making potato and leek soup with torn up cooked and crunchy chorizo pieces sprinkled on top but I think I'll try the pancetta instead. Thanks for the delightful recipe!

dj murdoc said...

i love this recipe... I have made some fun alterations on some batches.
Try using guanciale instead of pancetta. For those of you that don't know what that is, it is cured pig jowl. Also using prosciutto leg nubbs which you can get at your local Italian market. Thanks for the great recipe.

NickB said...

I'm not sure what the Internet protocol is on this, but I've tried your recipe, loved it, tweaked it and am reprinting it in part on my blog,

If this is a no-no, please give me the online thrashing I so richly deserve.

babyjooce said...

This is the second time I made this meal and my family loved it both times! This time I had everything sourdough bread and I made an herb butter with Tarrogon. It paired nice with the peas.