Friday, January 16, 2009

Back in the saddle

Okay, I actually planned out a recipe and cooked. Seeing as how busy I have been for oh... the past 10 months, cooking hasn't taken the fore front. That doesn't mean I've lost my love for doing it. Never fear! I have a wicked sore throat, and Kyle was going to a friends to watch BSG (if you don't know, don't ask) tonight, so I decided I'd whip up a good old fashioned split pea soup. I was in the Lyndale/Franklin area for yoga yesterday, so I was even able to pick up the ingredients I needed (TJ's doesn't carry everything sadly...) Alas, a beautifully prepared soup, that couldn't be more ugly when it's done:

Oh wait, Teaser alert! Kyle made cookies first


Gorgeous carrots







the aromatics (a good basis for any soup)


"gosh, this is pretty. I bet the final result will be gorgeous"

"hmm, the beauty seems to be fading, some how"

While waiting the 2 hours for the soup to finish, Tallulah invented a new meaning to the term "bad cat"
We're so proud...

"Alright! I picked the ham off the hocks, chopped it up and threw it in. Can't wait to see what it looks like!!"


Well, at least it tastes great.

I didn't use a recipe for this one, rather I consulted about 5 different recipes and made it my own. I cut up 3 pretty small carrots, 3 celery hearts (and I'm talking hearts, the only 3 stalks left) and one large white onion. Heat about 1/4c of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and let those aromatics schvitz! about 10 minutes. Throw in some ham hocks!*

I had 4, because that was the smallest bag the wedge had in its freezer, so 4 went in. Add 1 pound of peas (for some reason, I did actually weigh how many peas I put in. My meticulousness is pretty random I guess) Cover with some water. I filled my 2 1/2 qt pot with water, maybe an inch from the top... so just under 2 qts of water? Lets just say 2 qts, that's easier. Add 4 packets of reduced sodium chicken broth concentrate from Trader Joe's. Yes, I used a flavor enhancer. No, I didn't kill the neighbors next door chicken, boil the hell out of it, strain it and then use the left overs to flavor my soup. I used 4 little red packages of deliciousness. No MSG (not that that matters ANYWAY), reduced sodium (no that that matters EITHER) and big flavor.
Cook to hell for 2 hours

Remove hocks, pick off the meat, chop it up and throw it back in. Stir it up. Enjoy

Gosh, I'm so eloquent when I'm sick.

*ham hocks are essentially... the pigs calf. It's too fatty to be an ankle (unless it's an italian pig... sorry, inside joke), and pigs have kinda stumpy legs. They have lots of flavor, but not a ton of meat, so you definitely want to try to keep the hocks pretty stagnant in the soup while it's simmering so you can take them out all in one lovely piece.