Saturday, January 2, 2010

Potage Picard au Pois, Cell Phones, and Family

Night two of this project and we've already had a minor setback. This morning, we awoke and started planning today's recipes to tackle. Three were selected and a grocery list was made.

However, we were delayed by Scott's phone which decided to have a stroke and loose all simple motor functions - such as the ability to turn on. Instead, it displays the Verizon logo for about 3 seconds, goes black, and returns with the same logo. This cycle repeats itself until the battery dies or we detach the phone from its power source. Trust us, after several months of putting up with the LG Chocolate's faulty wiring, pulling the plug would be considered a "mercy killing" by anyone.

After a trip to the Verizon center where we were told they couldn't retrieve the phone's info, we drove down to the Front Door to meet with Scott's parents who had driven down from McCall for the wedding of one of his old high school classmates. The Front Door has some of the best beer and pizza in town, but this day the pizza didn't exactly sit very well with Michelle and she didn't feel like eating a bunch of rich French food.

So, we opened the soup chapter, saw the Split Pea Soup, threw away the old grocery list, and wrote up a new one that we hoped would cure an aching belly.

Scott's mom always had a can of Campbell's Split Pea Soup in the cupboard when he was growing up. Many summer weekends would find a young Scott coming indoors from adventures on his BMX bike to the breakfast bar holding a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of this soup. There is just something homey about this kind of meal that transports him back to the days of his youth.

With that in mind, and a bed-ridden wife at home, Scott collects the ingredients from the store and hurries home to begin the abbreviated, but very important second day of the project.

For anyone who has made this soup before, it isn't the most challenging recipe to follow. You soak a pound of split peas for an hour, drain, and toss them into a soup pot on the stove with five cups of water, 5oz of bacon, pepper, and a few sprigs of thyme.

Cover, bring this pot to a boil, then back the heat off until it is just simmering...for about an hour and a half. Check on it here and there to make sure it isn't drying out and add some salt about halfway through, but just let it go!

The most interesting part of this comes at the end when you fish out and set aside the bacon and throw away the sprigs of thyme.

You take the mixture, run it through a food processor, and then strain it so all the fibers and...well...gunk...doesn't get into the soup.

Scott has only attempted home made Split Pea Soup once before and this last step wasn't part of the process. Needless to say, it was like the aftermath of a wood chipper made its way into the bowl.

Texture-wise, this was a home run - rich and elegant all in one! We fried up some cubes of bread in oil to act as croutons (Scott enjoyed, Michelle didn't as much), and this ended up being exactly what both our taste buds and stomachs craved for the evening.

It's obvious this recipe is much more mature than the Campbell's canned version enjoyed those many years ago, but the combination of parents and Split Pea Soup in the same day is enough to make Scott a happy guy for the evening.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck on your project. I love love love French cooking and will be looking forward to your adventures