From: The Thorough Good Cook

Soups: 20. French Split Pea Soup

Having picked three pints of green split peas, put them in a stock-pot with a little salt, a piece of fresh butter, and the necessary cold water. Add a little lean ham, and simmer them for nearly two hours ; take away the ham, and pass the soup through a tammy, adding a little broth. Mix afterwards the rest of the broth prepared as usual, and boil the soup for an hour only ; to clarify, add a little sugar and butter when taken from the fire ; turn it afterwards by a little at a time into the tureen, where you have put a colouring of spinach rubbed through a tammy, to give a fine green tint. Serve on a plate some bread cut into small dice, and fried a light colour in butter.

As this soup of dried peas can be used in winter, if carefully prepared, the roots of the brunoise or julienne, sorrel, or chervil, can be added to it, but it is not sufficiently rich to receive the garnitures used in the soups of young peas, although the experiment may be made. In winter there are, for variety, cream of rice and pearl barley, and the purees of fowl and game.
"Soupe de pois cassés" : The best soup you'll ever be able to stuff into your stomach. Even better when cooked with a big piece of lard instead of the ham (of course you're supposed to serve the lard/ham with the soup after it's cooked).

The archetypal family dish, intended at cold winter evenings, when everybody gathers around the table. Warms the body, warms the soul. And makes you feel painfully nostalgic sometimes when you come back home late in the evening and all that's left in the fridge is a baked beans can...


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