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Split Pea Soup--Potage Picard Au Pois

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“In 'The Country Cooking of France' by Anne Willan”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse the peas well, then put in a bowl, add water to cover, and let soak for 1 hour.
  2. Drain the peas, put them in a soup pot, and add the water, bacon, thyme, and pepper.
  3. Cover, bring to a boil, decrease heat to very low, and simmer until the peas are very tender and falling apart, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Add salt to taste, halfway through cooking, with more water if the pan seems dry.
  5. When the peas are done, most of the water should be absorbed and the peas should be soupy.
  6. If necessary, remove the lid toward the end of cooking so some of the water evaporates.
  7. Make the croutons (use you own recipe, or the author suggests -cube 6 slices whole wheat bread; heat enough vegetable oil or bacon fat to form a 1/4-inch layer in a frying pan over medium heat, a piece of bread will sizzle at once when the fat is hot enough; add the bread cubes and fry until browned underneath, about 1 minute; turn and brown the other side; transfer to paper towels to drain.).
  8. Remove the bacon from the soup and set aside; discard the thyme sprigs.
  9. Work the soup through a food mill, or puree it in a food processor and then work it through a strainer to remove any fibers.
  10. Return the soup to the pot.
  11. Dice the bacon, and add it to the soup.
  12. To finish, bring the soup back to a boil; if it is very thick, add enough water so it pours easily from the spoon; it should still be thick and rich.
  13. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  14. Stir in the butter until almost melted, and pour the soup into a tureen or spoon it into bowls.
  15. Sprinkle the croutons on top and serve.

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