Can Split Pea Soup Ever Be Pretty?

split pea soup
Herbed Split Pea Soup
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme with Ham and Potato
Fried Sage and Garlic Chive Blossom Garnish

Tasty, you bet. To the eye, it has the most unfortunate color and often sludgy texture. But close your eyes, and you will be transported to soup heaven. Rich, flavorful, nourishing and comforting split pea soup has global appeal. Vegetarian versions are as equally satisfying as those made with ham or bacon.

Split pea will always be a nostalgic, family soup. It doesn’t remind us of our favorite gourmet restaurant or our most memorable meal, instead, it is a soup that soothes, calms, and makes us feel nurtured, at home, comfortable.

Continue reading “Can Split Pea Soup Ever Be Pretty?”

Turkey Mushroom Barley Soup

Doesn’t soup just hit the spot after the holiday meals?

Feeling lucky? Carve the wishbone from the turkey breast. Clean and dry the wishbone. Two people each grasp one end and twist until it breaks. The person left with the longer piece (the one who got the “lucky break”) gets to make a wish, a wish to be granted by the great turkey spirits!

Cooking the carcass for soup makes the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving all over again. I break up the carcass then simmer it for a few hours in water with rough chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Strain, cool, refrigerate overnight, remove some fat.
Add 2 bay leaves to the turkey stock and a generous cup of pearl barley. Cook for about an hour or so until the barley is tender. Meanwhile sauté chopped onions, celery, and carrots in butter until soft, then add sliced crimini mushrooms, and finally chopped garlic.
When the barley is tender, add the vegetables and leftover diced turkey to the soup. Simmer for about 10 minutes more, remove the bay. To finish, add chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
Wishbone lucky break or not,
May all your holiday wishes come true…