Pease soup

I am the anti-cook, while I was preparing meals for more than just myself, cooking was a task I undertook with reasonable care. Now it’s just me–well it’s a love thing ain’t it, your mother’s food tasted so good because she loved you or maybe because you loved her. It’s something they can’t capture in restaurants, despite the conceit and artifice. Family meals are not always a bed of roses though, in my experience they’re the one circumstance where the conflicts within the group are most likely to manifest. Yes, you might consider the pecking order, a quaint stereotype fit only for a staging scene in a prison drama but trust me on this one, it’s an observation with profound resonance.

So–I’ve taken to living off pease soup because: money. Yes things are getting that bad I’m afraid and dried peas are still readily available at something approaching a pittance, 55p for just over Ilb. Why this should be, I’m not quite sure, thankfully there’re no dishes, featuring dried peas, that’ve been made into fashion statements through articles in colour supplements or by tv chefs, so you can still pick them up for exactly half the price of their trendier counterparts.

Cooking ’em, while not exactly a demanding task, is facilitated by a bit of foreknowledge. The most important consideration is the condition of the water you cook ’em in. I can attest to the fact that trying to cook dried peas in hard, salted tap water, will take more or less–forever. The time you should be aiming for is about 45 minutes and to reach this goal, yes you will have to pre soak them for several hours. I soak them in the same bottle water, 20p for two litres, that I cook ’em in and that works fine. I could probably get the cooking time down to half an hour, if I were organised but I’m usually in the middle of something else while they’re on the hob.

So this is my method for preparing pease soup:-

  1. Soak peas, something over three hours, if it’s a hot day stick ’em in the fridge.
  2. Change the water, just covering them and bring ’em to boil. This part is important because peas, like many legumes are toxic in their ripe raw state, I keep the water bubbling for a bout 5 minutes here and turn up the heat again after they’ve cooked.
  3. Put them on a low flame and simmer for as long as needed, about 40 minutes.
  4. When they’re ready, pulp them, stick in your salt, add some beef dripping and optionally a little prepared gelatine. The fat and gelatine improve the flavour and texture a lot. You might want to put some celery or onion in here too, if you do, give it an extra ten minutes on the ring.

There you go that’s how it’s done a dainty meal for less than 30p, mmm tasty, that’s until you’ve had to live of it for a month that is.

BTW. why is the formatting on that numbered list so rubbish?

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~ by deadspidereye on November 20, 2015.

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