There will be no end in sight for the arctic temperatures enveloping the Northeast! Here in New York, it is painful to even step outside. Having a big pot of soup (today it is split pea) on the stove to help get the chill out of your bones is a must!
Speaking of bones, I absolutely love that Julie Child calls for making a nice ham broth first with the ham bones that has to simmer for four hours with vegetables and an herb bouquet that includes whole cloves. The aroma in my kitchen was like no other from any broth I have made. My best friend is stopping by today for afternoon tea and muffins, as well as quarts of soup to take home since her kitchen is in the process of being redone! I have amazing foodie moments with my best friend, and one of them was seeing Julia Child's kitchen at The Smithsonian. (Click and enjoy going through many of her cooking tools - her "spoonery" jar is one of my favorites!)
What kinds of soups are you making to keep you warm this January?
Julia Child's Split Pea Soup (Courtesy of Julia Child from her book "The Way to Cook")
Part I: Ingredients for the Ham Stock:
2 well-washed and scrubbed split ham-hocks (I had my own leftover from a huge Christmas ham)
3 quarts of water
1 cup of coarsely chopped carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 stalk of celery, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
5 whole cloves or allspice berries
Directions: Place the ham hocks in a soup pot with the water, making sure the bones are covered by two inches of water. Taking cheesecloth, make an herb bouquet of the bay leaves, cloves, and thyme. Add bouquet to the pot with the vegetables and let simmer with the pot slightly covered for 3-4 hours. (Note: I suggest you do not skim as it simmers, but rather make this the day before the soup and skim it when you take it out of the refrigerator - much easier!)
Part II: Ingredients for the Soup:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup diced celery
2/3 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
3 tablespoons flour
2 quarts of ham stock, heated
1 1/2 cups split green or split yellow peas (you may use a half cup more if you like it really thick since this recipe is on the thinner side)
Directions: Set a large saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the vegetables, cooking for 5 minutes. Add the flour, cooking for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool briefly. Blend in the ham stock and the split peas. Cover and simmer for an hour until peas are tender. Salt and pepper to taste a half hour into the cooking process. When cooked, you may mash or blend the soup depending on what consistency you prefer (I blended it). Serve with sauteed ham bits as garnish (I like mine really crispy) and keep a nice loaf of crusty bread next to your plate.
Note:I doubled the recipe you see below, which would normally serve six.