Split Pea Soup with Crispy Kielbasa

January 26th, 2021

I received Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, for Christmas. This is an updated, perhaps you could call it modern, version of split pea soup. What makes it different is the crispy kielbasa sausage that is added to it.

With leeks, onions, carrots and a ham hock it rocks with flavor. Ina has a way of bringing out the maximum flavor in her recipes.

We are in Florida. It has been cool so far. Therefore this split pea soup is a welcome meal and makes us feel warm and healthy. We also were able to get our Covid vaccines. Looking forward to a better year.

Split Pea Soup with Crispy Kielbasa

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (2)
  • 2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 large)
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 lb dried green split peas
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen twine
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 12 oz smoked kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced diagonally into ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • Minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat 1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil in a large (11 to 12-inch/28 to 30-cm) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion and carrots and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown.

Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the peas to coat with oil and cook for one minute. Add 8 cups (2 L) of the chicken stock, 2 cups (500 mL) water, the ham hock, thyme bundle, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very tender and falling apart. After 45 minutes, stir more frequently, scraping the bottom of the pot to be sure the soup doesn’t burn.

Discard the thyme bundle, bay leaves and ham hock. Transfer 2 cups (500 mL) of the soup to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and purée. Return the purée to the pot, adding more chicken stock or water if the soup is too thick.

To serve, heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil in a medium (10-inch/25-cm) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the kielbasa is browned. Serve the soup hot with the kielbasa and parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves: 6

Make ahead: Reheat the soup over low heat, adding chicken stock or water to thin.

Printable Recipe

Caramelized Onion Galette

December 12th, 2020

Serendipity; the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. My husband loves to cook. He has lots of time on his hands since we are staying pretty close to home. He recently set aside a few hours to make caramelized onions. He used a recipe from Vivian Howard in her new cookbook, This Will Make it Taste Good. Caramelized onions take time because they need to cook low and slow. The original use was to top a steak. But there were so many of them that I ended up with a stash in the refrigerator.

Thanksgiving included pie making. I made several rounds of pastry and ended up with extra. A light bulb moment happened and I put the two leftover ingredients together with delicious results.

This caramelized onion galette would make a perfect appetizer for the holidays. I added some Gruyere cheese to the onion mixture and was pleased with the results. The taste is reminiscent of French onion soup. It would also be great as a light supper with a salad. Serendipitous indeed.

Caramelized Onions

  • 4–5 large or 6–8 medium yellow or white onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  1. Peel your onions and cut them in half through their stem ends—longways, if you will. Slice them thinly with the grain, following the line from root to stem rather than cutting the onion across its belly. This is actually important because slicing it the other way makes the path to silky onions a longer one.
  2. Once your onions are sliced, heat your skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil, then the onions and the salt. Let the onions sizzle for a couple minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula and watch as they wilt for about 3 more minutes. At this point, reduce the heat to medium low. Put a lid on and step away for a few minutes. Give the onions a stir every now and then. You don’t have to stand over it like risotto, but don’t go for a walk around the block either. Caramelized bits will accumulate at the bottom and sides of the pan, and that’s good. Just scrape them up and stir them in. A little color building as you go is okay, but don’t rush to brown them. The point is to cook the onions gently, coaxing them through stages of raw, wilted, sweaty, soft, light brown, and finally deeply caramelized
  3. About 45 minutes in, remove the lid for the last time. They should be a light caramel color. Now, with the lid off, you will need to watch more closely and stir more frequently. At some point you may find that despite your best efforts some of the caramelized bits, verging on burnt, cling to the pan and threaten over all onion ruin. Do not fret! Just add a ½ cup or so of water and use its energy to help scrape up the stubborn but tasty film. Let the water cook out of course. When you’re smiling over a soft, creamy, fragrant pile of mahogany onions, you’re done. Makes 2 cups.
  4. Note:  Onions will keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 3 months.

Assemble Galette

Mix 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooled onions with 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll pastry dough of your choice (Could use a store-bought pastry round) into a 10-inch circle on a sheet of parchment. Spread the cooled caramelized onions on the dough, leaving a 1- to 2-inch border. Fold the edges in, over the onions, transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the dough is golden brown and some of the onions have browned on the edges, 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the galette halfway into the baking process.

Printable Recipe

Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup

March 9th, 2020

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Winter’s last gasp has even hit Florida.  Last week was unseasonably cool and windy.  A fire was lit in the fireplace and I craved comfort food.  Soup is always my first choice.  Soup made with lots of vegetables puréed to a smooth consistency is also my first choice.  The depth of flavor created is heartwarming. Add to that lots of Poblano chilis, which are not hot but pleasantly warm, and you have the perfect bowl of soup.  Chicken is just a given.  Chicken soup has been warming our bellies forever.

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This recipe came from Joanna Gaines which will appear in her new cookbook Magnolia Table Volume Two.  It can be preordered on Amazon.

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A chicken soup with a Mexican flair and crispy tortilla strips is the best way to say goodbye to Winter. We return to Lake Lure at the end of the month.

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Stay warm wherever you are.

CREAMY CHICKEN POBLANO SOUP

ingredients

+ 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
+ 2 cups small-diced onion (about 1 large)
+ 4 celery stalks, cut into medium dice
+ 3 carrots, cut into medium dice
+ 2 garlic cloves, minced
+ 3 medium poblano peppers, seeded and cut into medium dice
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
+ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
+ 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
+ 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
+ 2 cups heavy cream
+ 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (home-roasted or rotisserie chicken)
+ 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
+ Tortilla chips and sliced radishes, for garnish

instructions

1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and poblanos and sauté, stirring often, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme and sauté until caramelized and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes longer.

2. Add the broth and cream, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes to meld the flavors.

3. Use an immersion blender to carefully blend the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, let cool slightly and, working in batches as necessary, process in a stand blender until smooth, filling the blender no more than half full and removing the lid slowly after blending. Pour the soup back into the pot.)

4. Add the chicken and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes to meld the flavors to your liking. Stir in the cilantro.

5. Serve warm, garnished with tortilla strips and sliced radishes.

6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Goulash Soup with Red Peppers and Cabbage

November 10th, 2019

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Soup is always on my mind when the cold winds blow.  We are expecting the first below freezing temperatures tonight.  To complicate our lives, our heating system is not working.  We are managing to keep warm with our gas fireplace and may even light a wood fire in out kitchen fireplace.  David is now down in the furnace room with the new parts.  Hopefully we will have heat again soon.  But soup restores all discomfort and warms the soul.  This goulash soup was adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.  David is still avoiding carbs so this combination of Ground Beef, Cabbage and Roasted Red Peppers fits perfectly into a Keto diet.

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The changes I made to the recipe were to increase the ground beef and cabbage.  I doubled the cabbage from two cups to four cups.  I increased the ground beef from 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds.

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We enjoyed the warming goodness of this soups flavored with paprika, beef stock and tomatoes.  The cornbread is a side dish that I enjoyed alone.  It is Rosa’s Cornbread which is very rich and indulged in only in small slices.

GOULASH SOUP WITH RED PEPPERS AND CABBAGE (Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 T hot Hungarian Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed caraway seed (optional)
  • 4 cups homemade beef stock (or 3 cans, 14 oz. each)
  • 3 cups roasted tomatoes or 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups finely diced cabbage
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (ground chuck is best)
  • 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
  1. Heat large heavy frying pan, add oil, and saute onions about 5 minutes, until barely starting to color. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more, then add paprika (and caraway if using) and saute 1 minute more.
  2. Put onion/spice mixture into large soup pot. Deglaze pan with 1 cup of beef stock, then add that and rest of beef stock to soup pot. Add roasted tomatoes or canned tomatoes, cabbage and 2 cups water to soup pot and start to simmer.
  3. Brown ground beef in frying pan until quite brown, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. When browned add to soup pot. Let simmer on very low heat one hour. (Taste for seasoning and add more paprika if desired.
  4. After one hour, add diced red peppers and simmer about one hour more. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream.  This freezes very well.

Printable Recipe

Shrimp with Orange Butter Sauce and Cornmeal Savarins

June 5th, 2019

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This is another one of my favorite posts from the past.  It was first posted in 2013.  To be quite honest with you, I had forgotten all about this wonderful shrimp dish with a cornmeal savarin.  I really need to make it again for an appetizer or luncheon dish.

Thumbing through some old Gourmet magazines the other day, I found this recipe for shrimp savarins.  I love molds of all kinds and descriptions, but savarin molds were new to me.

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Savarins are ring shaped sponge cakes often soaked in rum syrup and filled with fresh fruit.  They are named for Jean Brillat-Savarin, a famous French politician and gastronome.  They can be one single large ring or smaller individual rings.  You can buy savarin molds at several sources such as this.

I was excited to try this savory version of savarins.  I love how the shrimp fit nicely around the cornmeal rings.

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I decided that this recipe was perfect for a first course at a dinner party or a holiday meal.  I was even able to make the dish in stages.  The cornmeal savarins were made early in the day.  The shrimp was also easy to do ahead of time.  All I did near serving time was to arrange the shrimp around the cornmeal rings that I had arranged on a baking sheet and placed them in the oven to rewarm.  While they were warming I made the orange butter sauce.

This was a delicious combination.  The orange butter beurre blanc played well off of the light cornmeal rings and the shrimp cooked in vermouth and tequila was a perfect foil.  The presentation was amazing and unexpected in my humble opinion.  This dish is a keeper.

SHRIMP WITH ORANGE BUTTER SAUCE AND CORNMEAL SAVARINS (Adapted from Gourmet)

36 large shrimp, shelled and deveined, reserving 6 shells
2 cups dry vermouth
1/4 cup tequila
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Sauce:
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dry white wine
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
the zest from 1 orange
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

6 cornmeal savarins (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon minced scallion top for garnish

In a large skillet combine the shrimp, the vermouth, the tequila, and the butter.  Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring, and simmer the shrimp for 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until they are just firm.  Transfer the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon and keep them warm.

Make the sauce:  Reduce the shrimp cooking liquid with the reserved shells over moderately high heat to about 3 tablespoons, discard the shells, and in a saucepan combine the reduced liquid with the shallot, the vinegar, the wine, the orange juice, and the orange zest.  Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer it for 5 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting the pan from the heat occasionally to cool the mixture and adding each new piece of butter before the previous one has melted completely.  (The sauce should should not get hot enough to liquefy.  It should be the consistency of then hollandaise.)  Keep the sauce warm over hot water.

Arrange the savarins on heated plates or shallow bowls and top each savarin with some of the shrimp.  My shrimp were small so I used 5 per savarin.  The original recipe used 3 per savarin.  Spoon some of the sauce onto the plates or bowls.  Garnish each serving with the scallion tops.  Serves 6.

CORNMEAL SAVARINS

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg white at room temperature
1/4 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper or minced pimiento
2 tablespoons minced Anaheim chili pepper

Into a bowl sift together the cornmeal, the baking powder, the sugar, the salt, and the flour.  In another bowl combine the egg yolk, the butter, the cream the buttermilk, and the baking soda and stir the mixture into the cornmeal mixture.  In a small bowl beat the egg white until it holds stiff peaks and fold it into the cornmeal mixture with the corn kernels, the red bell pepper and the chili pepper.

Spray 8 metal savarin molds, each 3 1/4 inches in diameter, well with non-stick vegetable coating and fill them with scant 1/3-cup measures of the batter. Bake the molds on a jelly-roll pan in the lower third of a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Loosen the edges of the cornbread with a small knife and turn them out onto a rack.  The cornbread savarins may be made ahead and kept chilled or frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap.  Makes 8 individual cornbreads.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.