Soup is spoon food.

Soup Weather

LeanneAh, soup weather has finally hit the Pacific Northwest!  With all the gorgeous sunshine we’ve had throughout the summer and into early fall, it almost seemed like it was never going to arrive. I don’t want to make it sound like I was tired of the sun—on the contrary.  However, I do kind of love the heartier food of real fall and winter. I love a good soup, and like sandwiches, I think it’s sometimes difficult to find a really, really good one—where all the flavors blend to create something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. This is one of those soups.  The recipe may look long but it’s easy to put together and you can even leave out the blender part.  I save my parmesan rinds in the freezer just to put in this lovely concoction.  Other recipes usually tell you to remove them before serving but to me, few things are yummier than a parmesan rind that’s been slowly melting in a pot of soup!

Lentil-Barley Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced leek
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water
¾ cup beer
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped parsnip
¼ cup chopped celery leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
⅓ cup uncooked pearl barley
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
½ cup dried lentils
⅛ teaspoon salt
Parmigiano -Reggiano rinds
1 cup Parmigiano -Reggiano, grated

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add broth, 1 cup water, and beer; bring to a boil. Add chopped carrot and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaves); return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in lentils; cover and cook 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Place 1½ cups broth mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan, and stir in salt and drop in rinds. Return mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Top individual servings with grated cheese. Serves 4

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Soup | 3 Comments

Got Ham?

LeanneWhenever I have a leftover ham bone, which is usually after some holiday, I like to make split pea soup. I try to leave plenty of meat on it when I throw it into the freezer to wait for the time when I have the inclination to put it in a pot. Today is such a day. Long ago, I had split pea soup over at my sister Debbie’s house and liked it a lot. I copied the recipe down from her (unremembered) cookbook and the shorthand recipe hand written on a scrap paper has remained in my recipe file to this day—except for when I couldn’t find it one day. I called her to ask for the recipe and she didn’t recall it at all. Oh well, what is memorable for one person is not necessarily memorable for another. Luckily, I found it again (the scrap was small enough that it got stuck between two other recipes). Here it is, my favorite split pea soup recipe, so good for January days.


Split Pea Soup

1 bag of split peas, green or yellow
10 cups cold water
1 ham bone with plenty of meat on it
½ cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of cayenne
¼ teaspoon thyme or 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Place split peas in a large pot and add water. Add the ham bone and cook for 2 hours at a low simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another ½ hour or until peas are tender and soup is thick. Add salt if needed but usually the ham provides the seasoning.

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Pork, Soup | Leave a comment

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