Saturday, 10 September 2011

Split Pea Soup with Frankfurters

I've got to tell you, there's a whooooole lot of cake coming your way. It's our flatcooling party tonight and while we felt that proper food for everyone was a bit beyond us (on a day when we went to the self-storage facility before 9am on a SATURDAY), some kind of sweet nibbles seemed appropriate. So this afternoon, while my husband performs the menial labour, I will be trying to concoct baked goods to use up the more annoying or unusual ingredients in our cupboards. I know, aren't our guests lucky? It'll be... interesting.

In advance of this cake-a-thon, some sort of healthy yet hearty lunch seemed like the right way to go. Step forward this split pea soup from Nigella's Feast - pulse-heavy, which ticks the virtuous and health-conscious box, but pepped up with frankfurters to satisfy appetites sharpened by moving bloody loads of boxes. Honestly, more soups should come with chunks of frankfurter lurking in their depths. Much more satisfying than croutons.

Although this takes a while to cook, it isn't at all hard to make. It also lasts well for a few days in the fridge, so we tend to make loads at a time. It's not at all attractive - sad, but true - but it is very hearty and filling so just stop being so superficial, ok?

Soup slurped, frankfurters finished, we're off to  the self-storage facility again. Sigh. At least there's cake to look forward to!

Split Pea Soup with Frankfurters
Adapted from Nigella's Feast
Serves 4-5

- 300g of dried split peas (which apparently you need to rinse before use - who knew?)
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery - if you have it (we didn't)
- about half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg or mace
- 1 litre of stock (chicken or vegetable)
- a bay leaf or two
- a couple of frankfurters per person

Firstly, cut the onion, garlic, carrot and celery (if you have it) into rough chunks, then whiz in a food processor until they're finely chopped. Or put in the hard graft and do it by hand, or with a grater.

Anyway, once the veg are tiny, chuck them in a big saucepan with a bit of oil and cook for about five minutes until they're soft but not coloured. Sprinkle over the nutmeg or mace and split peas, then stir around until everything is coated. 

Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover it and simmer for about an hour or until the split peas have become mush. You might need to add a bit more water if it's all getting a bit thick. At the end of that time, taste for seasoning and adjust if you think it needs it. 

Finally, blast the frankfurters in the microwave then cut into chunks about 2cm long (about an inch for people who prefer old money) and add to the soup. Eat and feel hearty.

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