Saturday, 1 February 2014

French Canadian Pea Soup

This is one of my more ironic recipes. I'm notorious in my family for my hatred of peas. I won't even have them in my house, and if I have to pass by them in the grocery store, I put my head down and ram that cart past them as fast as I can before the wave of nausea overtakes me. Now my LadyGirls on the other hand, adore them. They loved going to my mom's house for supper because she would always give them canned peas with her roast beef dinners. They were delighted!

My pea hatred has come to define my whole personality in a way though, so now I embrace it. I was one of those unfortunate children that was not allowed to leave the table until I had eaten everything on my plate. This is wrong if you practise this methodology in your home. Doctors now say that you should take your child's word for it if they don't like a certain food because there's a good chance they are allergic to it. Also, take their word if they say they've had enough to eat. Over feeding creates obese adults. And not to even mention what you're doing to their mind. It's amazing I only have the one personality! So just stop forcing them to eat everything on their plate. I probably was not a stubborn child until I was forced to eat canned peas. But I remember so many nights still sitting at that table long after my brothers and sister had gone to bed, and refusing to pick up the fork. And with each passing minute, my resolve not to eat them grew stronger. Finally my parents had to get to bed themselves, so the plate was taken away. Another victory for me! Eventually I got old enough to help myself to what went on my plate, eating family style. And I simply did not put any peas on my plate, and nobody spoke of my pea issues ever again. Hahah but oddly enough, I LOVE Pea Soup! I don't know if it's a texture thing or an empowerment issue, but it doesn't matter. Canned peas are yucky and pea soup is delicious, so let's make a big pot of it!

You'll need:
3 cups of dried yellow split peas
8 cups of water
a ham bone
1/4 pound or so of pork belly. Use more if you like it a lot
1 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped carrots (or one large carrot if you happen to live in the vegetable capital of Canada where there is no such thing as a small carrot)
2 stalks of finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon or so of salt and some freshly ground pepper
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp of dried savoury

Using a big soup pot, bring the water and the peas to a boil and turn off the heat and cover them and let them sit for about an hour. Then add all of your ingredients and bring it back up to the boil and reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2 hours until the peas are very tender. Leave the cover on for the first hour and a half and remove it for the last half hour. Remove and discard the bone. I take out the pork belly and rinse it and chop it and fry it in a pan until its golden and crispy and use it to garnish the soup upon serving. You can choose to puree the soup or leave it chunky. That's entirely up to you, and I'm not going to bully you about food! And that's all there is to it. Taste it for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. And since I'm very stubborn and empowered by my pea issues, I serve this with good old saltine crackers that I smash up and add to the bowl. (Such as well adjusted children do.) Enjoy friends!

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