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Friday, August 24, 2012

Split Pea Soup for this Fall-like weather

I usually don't make soups in the middle of summer because I think it's too hot for such a dish. My mother, on the other hand, thinks it's completely normal to make a hot, spicy chili to eat on a hot, humid night in July.  It's a matter of opinion (and mines the right one ;)

In Monterey, even though the rest of the country is going through extremely hot temps, it's still in the 50's and 60's most days.  So, I decided a nice, big pot of split pea soup would be a perfect dinner this week.  Now, my husbands family has a thing about serving cheese and slices of summer sausage and crackers with soup, so I also prepared a nice appetizer platter to accompany the soup.

I first soaked the split peas overnight. Some say they don't require soaking but I did it anyways.  Your choice to soak or not to soak.  I started the soup by draining the water and filling up a big pot with the peas, two large ham hocks, two onions (thinly sliced), and some seasonings (salt, pepper and marjoram, to taste).  I covered it with chicken stock (you can use water but it won't be as good). I brought it to a boil and reduced to a simmer and let it cook for about an hour and a half.  I then added a diced potato, three diced carrots and three stalks of diced celery. I let it cook until the veggies were done (about 40 minutes). Pretty easy.

While the soup was cooking, I make the appetizer platter.  I bought a nice smoked Gouda and a Chianti salami from Trader Joes.  I also had some sourdough bread that we bought in San Francisco, so I thawed that out and popped it in the oven long enough to warm it up.  I used these awesome little dishes that I bought in Qatar and filled them with almonds, crackers, and an Italian olive spread. I added some grapes to the platter to finish it off.  Served it with some yummy Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPAs.

Perfect meal for this weather!

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