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Sunday, February 20, 2011

With Great Anticipation Of Bavaria!

With just a little over a month left until our trip home (for me) and to meet Europe (for Rich), it's needless to say we are very excited. Girls have been asking to pack (!), and we've been looking at places to see and, of course, to eat at. Our journey will start in Bavaria and the Austrian Alps. Think Mozart, Beethoven, Freud, and "The Sound of Music". Plus sausages, sauerkraut, pilsner, and... the split pea soup. :)
I have to say, split pea soup was served a lot more often in my childhood than it is now. It's one of those things that are greatly loved on a once-in-a-while basis in our family. So ridiculously easy to make, split pea soup has to be done right!

  • 1 onion, diced and sauteed in olive oil until soft and golden
  • 3 cups of split peas (50% yellow and 50% green), soaked in water for at least a few hrs.
  • 1 pkg. of smoked pork chops (preferably bone-in, about 5-6)
  • water, just enough to cover it all,  at approx. 2-fingers height above
  • salt to taste (added at the end)
Once the soup begins to boil, skim off any protein foam, and simmer, partially covered for about 1.5 hrs, or until the peas have become creamy and the soup has thickened.  That is all!
If you like your soup more creamy and puree-like, use more yellow peas, as they tend to be more starchy. If you're a texture fan, use more green peas, and reduce the soaking time to just a couple of hours. Doing so will prevent the peas from completely cooking out to a creamy consistency.

The soup itself should remain simple, although some people like to add celery, carrots, etc. It certainly doesn't ruin anything, but is also not quite as authentic :).
Where you go crazy is the toppings. Pumpernickel croutons are a MUST, as well as freshly ground black pepper, diced green onions,  and some crispy bacon crumbles. We also like to add shredded colby cheese. Oh, and don't forget a cold Lager - it goes great with split pea!

Guten Appetit! :)

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