Monday, February 16, 2009

ham-less French Canadian Pea soup

I was x-country skiing at Mer Bleu this past weekend and started thinking about making a good French Canadian pea soup (it was that habitant in me coming out...) I LOVE French Canadian pea soup - and I haven't had it in ages. So I was really looking forward to making it.

This recipe proves that sometimes the best laid plans really don't guarantee the result you were aiming for :0) I will admit it... this soup ended up looking like a hodgepodge of veggies BUT the flavours are really lovely (and I'm pretty much quoting Julie word for word - she thinks it looks terrible but tastes great)....

A Modern Habitant's Soup
2 c. dried yellow split peas
12 c. water
2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (leave the seeds in!)
2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. red wine
5 c. water
1 tin black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp fresh thyme, just the leaves (removed from the stalks)
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp tomato paste
coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Place the yellow split peas in a large pot and cover them with the 12 c. of water. Bring it to a boil and cook (uncovered) for 6 minutes. Remove the peas from the heat, drain them and set them aside.

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring to cover with the olive oil. Add the broth, wine and water, black beans, thyme,hot pepper, bay leaves and some salt and pepper. Bring everything up to a boil. Cover, bring it down to a simmer for about 50 minutes. At that point, take the lid off, add the tomato paste and leave the pot uncovered for another 10 minutes. Give it a good stir to blend all the flavours together.

Remove the bay leaves from the soup... and serve.

You should end up with about 12 cups of soup - enough for some hungry modern-day habitants :0)

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