The current photo challenge over on SCS is animals, and I was expecting to find it difficult - apart from people walking their dogs. However, when I walked over to the library on Saturday to pick up a DVD I had reserved, I came across something of a surprise!
I also managed to snap a grey squirrel up in the tree tops - it seemed to be pulling all the tender tips off and dropping a lot of them on the ground - not so good for the tree.
I wanted a change from the soups that I usually make, and since I had just been tidying through my store cupboard and was aware that I had some green split peas, I tried this recipe from Anna Thomas' "Love Soup". It was really good, we both liked it and I will make it again. But next time I will allow the split peas to soak longer, or give them more cooking time. They were quite old and I probably didn't allow for that!
Carol's Finnish Pea Soup with Apples from "LOVE SOUP" by Anna Thomas
1 1/2 cups / 12 ounces dried green split peas
2 large carrots
2 medium stalks celery
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dry
1 bay leaf
1 large onion (250g)
3 tblsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste - I don't think I used this much
1 large apple (250g)
12 ounced (350g) frech or frozen green peas
1 tsp coriander seeds roasted and ground
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
1 tblsp cider vinegar
2 cups/500ml light vegetable broth
Hot paprika or cayenne to taste
Wash the split peas and put in a large pot with 6 cups/1 1/2 litres water. Peel and finely dice the carrots, trim and finely dice the celery and add to the peas along with the thyme and bayleaf. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about half an hour.
Meanwhile chop the onion and sauté it in 1 tblsp of the oil, with a little salt, till it is soft and golden brown.
Peel and core the apple and dice finely. She didn't say whether this should be a cooking apple or an eating one - I went for a slightly tart eating one that would keep its shape better. Add to the soup, along with the sautéed onion, and cook for another fifteen minutes. Then add the fresh/frozen peas, coriander, nutmeg, mustard, vinegar, salt, pinch of paprika and the vegetable broth. Simmer for another fifteen minutes. Add more salt if required, and more cayenne/paprika if you would like it spicier. Stir in the remaining olive oil just before serving.
I partially liquidised mine with a wand blender ; she says it can be served as it is or puréed, but I like some texture in my soups so I went with a half and half option.