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Ladle out a winter pea soup

February 07, 2009|By Scripps Howard News Service

This is one of those dishes that tastes even better reheated, so if possible make it a day ahead (adding the apple and butter just before serving). Soup holds three to four days in the refrigerator and freezes well.

Cook to Cook: Split peas' cooking time can range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on their age. If you buy them where there is fast turnover the soup should cook up quickly.

NORTH COUNTRY WINTER PEA SOUP
WITH FRESH APPLE



Expeller pressed Canola oil or good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and fine chopped
3 medium onions, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
2 small to medium turnips, peeled and cut into a fine dice
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground allspice, or more to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 small cabbage, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1 large smoked ham hock (1 1/2 pounds)
1 to 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into a fine dice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large red skin potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 pound (about 2 cups) dried split peas (yellow or green)
3 14-ounce cans vegetable or chicken broth
4 to 5 cups water
2 medium apples (Honey Crisp, Winesap, Cortland, Pink Lady, McIntosh, Granny Smith; just not Delicious), cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons butter

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Film the bottom of a 6-quart pot with oil. Heat over medium high and stir in the carrot, onion, and turnip. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until the onion begin to brown. Stir in the herbs and spices for a few seconds or until they are fragrant.

Blend in the remaining ingredients except the apples and butter. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the solids by about an inch. Bring to a gentle simmer, partially cover and cook about 30 minutes, or until peas have broken down to a creamy consistency. Check that there is always enough liquid to cover the solids.

Taste the soup for seasoning, and just before serving it, swirl in the apples and the butter. If desired, you could pull the ham hock from the soup with tongs, cut away the meat and return it to the soup before serving.

Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish.

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