Split pea soup is one of the many autumn-winter comfort dishes in Russia. Pea soup is cooked with rich broth with smoked meat and is served with garlic and croutons. This soup as many other dishes of Russian cuisine has a tendency to become even more delicious in the course of several days after cooking.
One can find a number of recipes of pea soup in many European cuisines. Some variations include pork shanks or pork fat (salo), bacon; Italians cook pea soup with cheese, others like adding tomato juice and sour cream. It is impossible to ascribe pea soup to some particular national cookery, however, there is a common element to every recipe. They are the simplicity of the cooking process and affordable ingredients.
Long time ago when such vegetables as cabbage and potatoes were unknown to people, peas was very rife and especially popular among the poor. Fortunately, nowadays such products as gluten free pea pasta or lactose free pea cheese are gaining popularity in modern vegan and raw food diets.
In Russia pea soup and pea puree is known to everybody from early childhood.
If you want your soup to be thick and rich, it is better to soak the peas in cold water at least for a few hours, or even better overnight.
If you are short on time and cannot soak the peas for several hours, you can place it in a microwave oven for 5-7 minutes. This process also shortens the cooking time significantly.
To infuse the soup with smoky flavor, add thinly sliced smoked sausages or rich broth with bacon, if you do not have smoked ribs at hand.
If the peas is not cooked enough, or you wish to achieve a creamy consistency, you can remove the soup from the stove, blend it and then simmer at low heat.
Peas gives a sweet taste to the soup, that’s why it is better to add salt in the end of the cooking process.
Red and black pepper, bay leaf, parsley and garlic is the best match for the pea soup.
1-1/2 cup dried split peas
1 medium onion
1 large carrot
3 medium potatoes
4-5 oz bacon
Spices and seasoning
Soak the peas. Fry bacon and then fry onions and carrots with the leftover bacon fat. Add soaked peas to the boiling broth. Boil till the peas is half cooked. Then stir in potatoes cut in cubes, bring to boil and add salt. In 10 minutes add fried vegetables and bacon. Simmer everything for 30 minutes.
Serve with white bread croutons.
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