Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Split pea soup variant

Split pea is one of my favorite soups on earth.  When I saw this recipe for Grandma Zimmern's Tailgating Pot of Love, I had to try it.

Of course, this recipe comes from Chef Andrew Zimmern, who lives here in the Twin Cities and has made quite a name for himself as a food writer and TV personality.  This soup is a variation on classic split pea soup, only it includes such interesting ingredients as kielbasa, caraway, fennel, and escarole.

I was a week late for the big football game, but Zimmern said he brings this to most tailgate parties he attends.  I figured this would also serve as perfect fare for a snowy Sunday that featured a winter storm!

I ended up scaling down the recipe since this makes a lot of soup.  For the most part, I cut the ingredients by a third.  (So, two total cups of split peas, 8 cups of liquid, etc.)

Green and yellow split peas - colorful!
Also, I changed a couple of things.  I made a bouquet garni of thyme, parsley, celery leaves, and bay leaves to add to the pot.  Perfect flavors for this soup.  Also, instead of using all chicken stock, I added a bottle of brown ale, taking a page from my split pea soup recipe.  For those keeping score at home, that's 6 1/2 cups of chicken stock and a cup and a half of beer. (I used Third Street Brewhouse's "Lost Trout" brown ale - a very nice local beer)

Prepping the ingredients
Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written, and an awesome recipe it is.  Here is the finished product, all plated up: 

Grandma Zimmern's Tailgating Pot of Love
Loved the kielbasa in here.  You could even do without it and you would have a great soup, but the smoky, garlic-laced sausage is really tasty.  The caraway adds an interesting savory note, and the escarole and fennel were fun and flavorful veggie additions.  If I do say so myself, the beer was a nice touch as well.  This adds a little bit of malty, tangy flavor to the finished soup.

Also, I highly recommend the suggested condiments of hot sauce and white vinegar.  Hot sauce is something I like in most any soup, and the white vinegar added an acidic lift that plays nicely with the sweetness of the peas.  Give it a try. 

Split pea soup fans will thoroughly enjoy.  And, as I figured, it was a perfect meal for a snowy Sunday in Minnesota...

Winter Storm Warning = perfect soup weather!
Thumbs way up for Grandma Zimmern's "Tailgating Pot of Love!"  Chef Zimmern's recipe is fantastic.  This will be made again.  

3 comments:

Meg said...

I just finished the last of a leftover pot of split pea today! I make mine almost completely vegetarian (just use chicken stock as a base) and I added spinach for the nutrients.

I love all kinds of soup, this recipe looks marvelous!

Adelyn said...

Wow...what a view you have. The bowl of soup seems like the perfect accompaniment.

Jean said...

Thanks Meg and Addy! I absolutely love soup, and split pea especially. So good on these chilly winter days!

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