I am so pleased, and honored, that Stefan (the proprietor of Stefan Gourmet) and I are co-blogging a duet of delectable pea soups; his version of Pea soup can be found here. When Stefan posted his fabulous recipe for Classic Dutch Pea Soup, it had me at hello! Oh, my: the deep, rich flavors of his dish are incomparable.
Stefan’s “erwtensoep,” or “snert,“brought back great memories of pea soups past. One of my nostalgic “pea soup moments” dates back to visiting my lovely college friend Janine, and her fantastic husband Ron, in Indianapolis years ago.
In 2001, Janine and I hit it off right immediately at University of Texas. Our sports-loving boyfriends (now our husbands) did as well. By happenstance, the then-boyfriends both became doctors, and we all remained in touch. The last time we stayed in their Indiana home, Janine prepared an amazing Shabbat dinner of schnitzel, split pea soup, green beans, rice and scrumptious challah. Whenever I make split pea soup, I always think of Janine’s welcoming kitchen.
This version of pea soup is rich with vegetables and lamb. Lamb has a combination of sweet, succulent and savory flavors; it is one of my favorite meats. The soup makes a lovely lunch or light dinner when paired a crisp, green salad and crusty, artisanal bread.
This is how to re-create flanken (meat) split pea soup at home:
When preparing a soup with myriad vegetables, it helps to assemble your ingredients.
Take care to cut extra vegetables if children (like Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy!) are in the kitchen. They will decrease your supplies by half – and smile as they do so!
The children cannot reach the raw vegetables in the slow-cooker. Nor would they want to – bay leaves and uncooked peas are not especially tasty.
Meanwhile, searing the lamb yields great color and flavor. Do not take a bite of the lamb; one bite quickly becomes five. Trust me, the smell makes it quite tempting!
Sauté the carrot, onion and celery to obtain amazing taste. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds, until just fragrant.
All of the ingredients make a happy family in the slow-cooker.
Eight hours later, the lamb is removed and chopped (though a knife is barely necessary, as it falls off the bone). The vegetables are easily puréed with an immersion blender. Back in goes the lamb, and tah-dah: Soup!
My hubby, Abba (affectionately know as “The Swedish Pop Band”) enjoyed his flanken split pea soup with a salad (of bûcheron chevré, roasted squash, d’anjou pear, tart cherries and pecans). To the side: a moderately hoppy local red IPA … and toasted, buttered five-olive bread.
Soup, salad, bread and booze – you really can’t go wrong there.
I hope that you give this recipe – and Stefan’s – a try soon. What is better on a cold, winter day than a hot bowl of hearty, nutritious soup?
Flanken Split Pea Soup
1 pound organic, grass-fed lamb loin chops (kosher, if desired)
2 cups organic, green split peas, rinsed and sorted
8 sodium-free, organic vegetable bouillon cubes
8 cups filtered water (or, replace the bouillon and water with low-sodium vegetable stock)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh lavender
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup sliced, baby carrots
1 cup sliced celery (about 4 stalks)
1 cup chopped, yellow onion (about one small onion)
1 cup chopped, red onion (about one small onion)
1 cup chopped, vine-ripe tomato (about one large tomato)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. each: fine salt and cracked black pepper
additional salt and pepper, to season the sautéed lamb and vegetables
chopped parsley, to garnish the soup
- Assemble all of your ingredients.
- Place the tomato, bouillon cubes, water, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lavender, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and split peas in a large slow-cooker.
- Season the lamb with a light amount of salt and pepper
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the lamb for two minutes on each side, or until browned. The goal is not to cook the lamb, but to obtain nice color on the outside.
- Remove the lamb and place it in the slow-cooker.
- Over medium-heat, warm the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil in the same pan the lamb was browned.
- Sauté the celery, carrot, yellow and red onions until slightly caramelized and fragrant, about five to ten minutes.
- Lightly season the vegetable medley with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to one minute more, until the garlic is redolent.
- Remove the vegetable medley to the slow-cooker.
- After eight hours of cooking, remove the lamb loin chops from the slow-cooker. Cool slightly. Chop into small pieces. Discard the bones.
- Remove the two bay leaves and discard.
- Using an immersion blender, purée the vegetable mixture in the slow-cooker until smooth and creamy.
- Return the chopped lamb to the slow cooker. Allow the soup to continue to cook on low for about fifteen more minutes, or until the lamb is warmed through.
- Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve the soup with chopped, fresh parsley. Enjoy… L’Chayim!
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.