1. Take one cup of yellow split peas and one cup of green split peas. Of course, you can take just one kind, but the soup looks a lot better and somehow more festive if two kinds are used.
2. Place the peas in 8-10 cups (according to how thick you like your soup) of bouillon. Lacking that, you can always use water (salted to taste). Using water instead of bouillon means you can be more generous with herbs and spices. Bring the peas in bouillon to a gentle boil, and let them simmer. They will stay simmering for 3-3,5 hours, so you will have time to prep all the other ingredients (and blog in the meanwhile) at leisure.
3. Take several rashers of bacon. Put them on a plate between two paper towels, and leave in the microwave for 4 minutes. Some people prefer to fry their bacon, but that leaves too much fat, whcih overpowers the taste of soup.
|How come photos at professional cooking sites always |
look so much better than the ones I make? Well,
at least I tried hard. :-)
4. An hour into the whole process, it's time to think about herbs and spices. This is the place where experimenting and discovering new shades of taste is the most fun. Here are the spices I chose this time:
This is a hearty dish, meant to be eaten in winter. This is why I always choose sturdier herbs and spices to go with it. Feel free to experiment as much as you want, however. Peas and bacon are very strong, taste-wise, so there is quite a bit of freedom in how many herbs one uses in this recipe.I always keep tasting the soup and adding more herbs and spices as the time goes by.
5. Somewhere at the end of the second hour, is the time to add vegetables. Here are the ones I chose this time:
the texture will be too inconsistent.
6. As a huge lover of ginger and garlic, I then prepare a ginger garlic paste. It can be bought in a store but I don't really trust it because God knows what weird substances have been added to it. Making a ginger garlic paste is beyond easy. You just take equal amounts of gignger and garlic, add a little bit of olive oil, and throw it all into a blender. Blend until you are satisfied with the texture of the paste.
|Cooking and blogging at the same time|
is fun! I wonder why I never did it before.
If you are a vegetarian who left out bacon, I suggest you really consider adding ginger. Unless you hate it, of course. If making a paste is too much of a drag, it's perfectly OK to cut the gignger into tiny pieces and adding it to the soup.
7. It's up to you to decide when the soup has reached the desired consistency. If you like it chunkier, 2,5 hours will suffice. If you wish it smoother, leave it simmering for up to 3,5 hours. Some people, puree the soup after it's done, but I never do that. I lke experiencing the textures of all the ingredients, but that, of course, is a matter of personal taste.
8. I serve the soup with a salad because in winter I serve everything with a salad:
Here is a close up of the end result:
|It could have been less chunky if I'd let it simmer a little longer.|
But I was starving and couldn't wait to eat any longer.