This is another Autumnal favourite of mine. It is so simple to make and it freezes well, so you can bag up the extra portions for those days when you just don’t want to do anything more strenuous than to heat something up. It is a great source of veggie goodness and is inexpensive to make. All sounds good, right?
It is also quite a versatile soup; the picture above shows a version I made the other day with mini frankfurter sausages (the kids love them…) You can serve it with heated up “normal” frankfurter sausages or shred up the smoked bacon meat and stir that in or just eat it as it is. Have fun coming up with your own additions!
Ingredients: (makes enough for about 4 meals, depending on serving size, for around 4 people)
- 500g of dried green peas
- 1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium-sized leek, washed thoroughly and sliced fairly thinly
- 250g potatoes, peeled and quartered (add more boiled potatoes at the end if soup is too watery)
- 1.5 – 2 litres of water
- 1 large slice of thick (approx. 1-2 inches/5-8 cm) sliced smoked streaky bacon (“speck” here in Germany)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly chopped parsley, about a handful
- You can add any other root vegetables you like to this soup, depending on what is in season or available where you live. Here in Germany we can buy a bundle of so-called “Soup Vegetables” for around EUR 2 in either supermarkets or farmer’s markets. These bundles include a couple of carrots, a quarter of celery root, a leek and a few sprigs of parsley.
1. Soak the dried peas in plenty of cold water, according to the instructions on the packet (usually up to 12 hours).
2. Drain the soaked peas. Add the chopped vegetables, water and bacon. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and gently simmer until the peas start to split and get mushy and the other vegetables are soft (about 1.5 – 2 hours).
3. Remove the bacon, reserve and finely shred the meat if adding to the soup at the end. Whizz the remaining soup contents in a blender or using a hand-held blender. Do a taste check and add freshly ground black pepper and salt as desired (do not add salt beforehand as the bacon will give quite a bit of a salty flavour). Add the chopped parsley before serving.
As I said above, you can add various other ingredients (such as frankfurter sausages, chopped bacon meat etc…) to this soup at the end if you want. It is also delicious served as it is with some warm crusty bread or some freshly made croutons.