Vegetable vegetable bo begetable ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

04 February 2008

Vegetable vegetable bo begetable

I can't help it. All I want to eat is a vast bowl of green goo.

This time we have split pea.

Generally the issue with split pea is how to keep it deep and smoky while not dropping a ham bone into the pot. This is not so hard; there are lots of spice mixtures and mesquite rubs for smoky flavor. This time we used liquid smoke: water infused with smoked hickory. I have no idea how they accomplish the combination of fire and water here. Maybe there's some kind of distillation process. It doesn't much matter, though, because it works.

It's also so concentrated it's hard to sniff the open bottle. Don't spill any.

Split pea we like it soup

dried split peas
an onion
a couple cloves of garlic
olive oil
a jalapeño/other pepper of choice
water or veg broth
bay leaf
lots of pepper
liquid smoke or other smoky spice business

This is really easy, but can take a while simmering. That's ok. You can whet your hunger on the side of the table for a while.

Get out a big soup pan and warm some olive oil. Peel and chop an onion; peel and mince garlic; don't peel but mince jalapeño. Add them to the pan, stir to distribute oil, and cook slowly. You could also do some celery and carrot for a more traditional mirepoix base, but you don't have to. I didn't.

I wanted to reduce the total cooking time, so instead of waiting for onion stuff to be done, then adding things to boil with it, I started boiling my split peas in a different pot. Dump in a cup or so of peas; dump in twice their depth in water. Add a bay leaf, bring to a boil, and simmer covered while the onion and etc is cooking down. When the onion mix is soft and delicious enough for you, add maybe a half teaspoon of liquid smoke and stir it all together. Then pour in the entire pan of peas and water.

Now all you have to do is simmer until the peas are done. If the soup is too liquid for you, do this with the pan lid off or cracked. If it's just right, simmer closed.

When it's done, pepper it voraciously. Now you can eat it as is or take an immersion blender to it. I don't think you really need to blend it, since split peas fall apart, but you may just want to since you have a fairly new immersion blender hanging around being shiny at you. Yes.

While you are waiting impatiently for the soup to be done boiling, make something else. I made silly cabbage salad.

Silly cabbage salad

chunk of red cabbage
a tart apple
green onion

Chop a chunk of cabbage as finely as you possibly can with a very sharp knife. Stick it in a big bowl, sprinkle some salt on it, and mix it around aggressively with your hands. Then slice some radishes up really finely. Core an apple and slice it up really finely. Chop a green onion or two really finely. Mix it all together and let it wait while your soup finishes. The salt will draw out some moisture from the cabbage and make it juicy. Then it will be delicious.

Eat it all! This way you get serious soft squishy smoky comforting vegetables plus sharp spicy sweet salty raw vegetables all at the same time. It is an excellent decision.

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