Jilly’s Gone Off Her C-rocker This Weekend…trying to find out about soup “scum”
If you are thinking about a nice joint of ham for Thanksgiving, keep in mind that the joint with some leftover ham on it makes for a great tasting pea soup. This is French Canadian comfort food, although other cultures have early claims to pea soup, too, such as the Swedes. This soup is dead easy, but oh so flavourful and, as Jilly is known to mutter around the kitchen, “Disgustingly nutritious!”
Just give the peas a couple of hours to tenderize, add the remaining ingredients, pick out a good movie to watch, and you’ll have some comforting, savoury soup ready by the time you sha-noogle down with your Sweetie – before the Thanksgiving weekend madness begins!
You will need:
1 500 gm package dried green peas
½ large white onion – finely diced
1 medium potato, skin on, chopped fairly fine
I large carrot – finely diced
1-2 ribs of celery – finely diced *Here’s a tip: ever wonder what to do with the greens & leaves at the top of the celery bunch? Most people discard these bits, but they make a great addition to homemade soup. Just chop fine and add to your soup base.
I L. chicken stock
2-3 c. leftover ham, chopped fine. Bone-in makes for a more intense flavour, but you can just use whatever ham you have. If you do make this with bone in, remove just before serving.
4-5 c. water
2-3 cloves garlic finely grated
2 T. olive oil
1 Tsp. dried thyme or one small bunch fresh and cut fine
1 T. parsley dried or one small bunch fresh and chopped
3-4 bay leaves
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
*Create additional zing by adding ginger, cinnamon, or hot pepper flakes in the seasoning, whatever your preferences. Try some leafy veggies, such as Swiss chard, spinach, or beet greens for additional variety.
Combine water, chicken stock, and olive oil in your crock pot. Set to high. Add the peas. Allow them to soften up for ~ 2 hours or so. Some recommend skimming off the “scum” that develops as the peas soften.
These are just the skins of the peas and can be removed to cut down on the starchiness. Some people simply also find these hard to digest. (Jilly went through several online searches and finally turned to an old copy of a Time Life cookbook to find the answer to that. Some web sites even suggest this scum contains toxins or hallucinogens placed there by the soup manufacturing companies. Honestly folks – do not believe everything you find on the interweb – it’s enough to make Jilly go off her c-rocker!).
Back to the soup…
Add the remaining ingredients, keep on high for 4-5 hours, stir occasionally, cook until peas are mushy. If you have any left-overs, this soup freezes well.
Top with croutons, serve with an herbed bread, turn on the movie, and enjoy a lazy Saturday evening. You’ve earned it!
From Jilly’s kitchen to yours – bon appetite!