The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Make Like Peas and Split! September 30, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Soups, Sauces and Stews — Meg @ 11:36 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I know how lame I am, you don’t have to tell me.
Okay, so the story goes like this. I’ve been having a very mari-time today (AGAIN!), first with Mum’s Bread from work (boss’ old Newfoundland recipe, his home). Second, plenty of fiddle-playing, Celtic stuff, you know the drill. Third, split pea soup. Yeah, yeah, it’s all over the map, everyone has a version of it, but I was doing some reading from my “Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens,” cookbook, and was inspired by the recipe in that one. Salt pork is the name of the game today! Oh, and my version includes dumplings, or, as folks from down East might refer to them, “doughboys,” which I think is a pretty zazzy touch.
The weather outside is crummy, and I’m phasing in and out of my Japanese food stuff, meanwhile being hell-bent on using sage in everything I cook lately. Split pea soup is good for you anyhow, tons of fibre and not really too much fat! It’s a nice stick-to-your-ribs, warm-your-bones kind of meal, and I am quite pleased with my decision!  Also, I promise this doesn’t taste like that nasty canned Habitant pea soup business. This is much better. With the power of sage! But not too powerful. This recipe is suuuuuuper simple. I must admit, I sped up the process using… …dun dun… a pressure cooker, but WHAT OF IT? I didn’t feel like waiting. One cannot survive on Sour Cream and Onion potato chips alone! I’ll give the pressure cooker variation here too, if anyone’s interested. I don’t know anyone who owns one though, besides my grandma (who has a lovely English/Maritimey mishmashed accent, I might add)…
Pea Soup with Doughboys

1 lb dried yellow split peas (soaked overnight)
8 cups water
4 oz salt pork, cut into cubes, strips, or left whole, I don’t care)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp dried sage (not the powdered kind, maybe use less if that’s your weapon of choice)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste (add at the end, is my advice, there will be some reduction)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp lard, butter or shortening
1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in a large cooking pot or cast-iron dutch oven (you could sauté the vegetables and salt pork first, if you wanted), and cook covered until split peas are soft, stirring here and there. Uncover and cook until liquid reduces and soup thickens to your liking (I like mine fairly thick, porridge consistency). If you want, you can also mash up some of the split peas, or use an immersion (or other type) blender to help with the thickening process, purely optional. But, the reducing will do most of that for you. Add salt and pepper to taste. Essentially, it’s ready to serve now, but, doughboy time is upon us!
To make the doughboys/dumplings, combine flour, salt and baking powder in a small-medium sized bowl, then cut in lard/shortening butter (as for making pie dough, etc.). With a fork, stir in milk all at once, till there is no dry flour left, only till everything is just combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup (not a fast boil, not with this soup). Cover and cook 15 minutes on  without removing the lid.
If you’re looking for a thick soup, add the doughboys/dumplings while it’s still somewhat viscous, otherwise, it’ll thicken far too much and burn during the steaming process. I’ve done this kind of thing more than enough to know that outcome, heh heh… The soup will thicken up quite  a bit from the starch anyhow.
*** For the pressure cooker variation, follow the same instructions, except you can omit soaking the split peas, and add them right in dry, and also, skip the first steps involving cooking covered until the peas are soft. Just put it all into a pressure cooker, on high, for 20 minutes. Then, let it reduce as the original recipe instructs, and so on. ***
Otherwise, I’ve been up to a whole lot of trial-and-error home canning, but with very fruitful (HEH HEH) results! Botulism-free, too! Grape jelly and rhubarb jam so far, with fig jam to come. I have passed the point of wanting to punch walls from improper canning rack use, and gotten myself a nice, sturdy cake rack to do the job, and things are going swimmingly. I’ll post the fig jam recipe after I figure it out, whether youse guys like it or not. But, for now, time to hit the hay! Work’s a-comin’ and I have more pumpkin-based things to bake than you can shake a stick at…



3 Responses to “Make Like Peas and Split!”

  1. vivvles215 Says:

    Sounds great! And I have a pressure cooker, so I’ll have to try that variation out. Your canning frustrations sound a lot like mine, but I’m mostly trying to get all of the figs that I have preserved. Mixing them with some plums to see what I can come up with.

    • Meg Says:

      Yeah, I didn’t have my old canning rack (moving into a new place will do that to you, haha), so I had to makeshift one with other stuff, cans were touching and moving around, I worked so hard on all the prep up to that point! But, I re-processed them with no problems/new rack and now everything is fine! I love plums, that sounds delicious! I want to make plum sauce too, but I’m thinking maybe apple-fig jam for now. I recently got some really tasty honey crisps I want to use!

  2. […] with the lid on the pot. You know what I mean. I would highly recommend the recipe I posted, for Doughboys. It’s from my Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens cookbook, and so far, the best I’ve […]

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