Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Last night, the Mistress of Sarcasm handled the cooking chores, running up a cauldron of Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup with a recipe she got from Gilad’s sister Hagar:

Hagar’s Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

One bag of dried split peas (400-500g)
1 large onion, finely sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, sliced into discs
½ sweet potato, diced small
Fresh ginger root, chopped - or ginger powder if you don’t have fresh
Some salami, cut into chunks
½ teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put some oil in a pot and sweat the onions over medium heat. When they start to turn golden, turn the heat down and add the garlic. Do not allow the garlic to burn.

When the garlic softens (there will be a nice smell), add all the other ingredients and stir until the carrots begin to soften and caramelize. Then add water just to cover the mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes come back and check to see if the water has been absorbed. If so, add some more, about 2 inches. Let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes and then come back... every time you stir the soup it will get softer and mushier, until finally the vegetables will break down into a nice purée.

If you soak the peas for 24 hours before you cook them, the cooking time will be shortened considerably. And as with most soups, this one is even better the next day.

Optional Addition: I like to throw in a splash of fino sherry - it complements a legume soup perfectly. The Mistress prefers to do without.

Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup
Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup, simmering away. Early in the process, the vegetables are still intact.

By way of soup meat, the Mistress used beef chunks in lieu of the salami in Hagar’s recipe, browning them first in a skillet. The recipe also would work well with sliced-up beef sausage.

How was it, this culinary sally of the Mistress? It was superb. The sweet potatoes broke down during the soup’s long, slow simmer, enriching the texture and adding a subtle layer of flavor. After a couple of hours on the stove, it had thickened up nicely. The biggest problem I had was restraining myself from eating the whole fucking potload, it was just that good.

The Mistress, it should be pointed out, is taking her first tentative steps into the World o’ Cuisine. Based on what she has been able to do so far, I predict she will be the source of a constant stream of Good Cookin’.

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