Monday, 6 December 2010

Store-cupboard special: pea soup


It’s been a long time since I posted any of my culinary disasters exploits here, but today I was moved to make some nice warming soup.

Yes, I did say pea soup, although, looking at the colour, you may wonder if I spelled that correctly. Smile

Because of a long list of food and chemical intolerances, I don’t dare eat processed; tinned or packet soups. I’m also not strong on things that require effort – being constantly exhausted and unable to stand – so I’ve become quite adept at throwing minimal ingredients together into a slow cooker and coming up with something cheap, reasonably wholesome and vaguely edible.


  • A tablespoon-sized slurp of olive oil
  • A handful of chopped onion
  • 250 grs (half a packet) green split peas
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 litre of hot water

Notes: Use the ordinary olive oil, not a highly flavoured virgin type. Ready-chopped onions are a God-send for those of us with wrist pain and weakness (Tesco sell them frozen that can be kept in the freezer.) If you’re using fresh onion, about a half of a medium one will do. Use whatever stock: cube, granules, etc., that you can tolerate. Organic is good.


Slurp the olive oil into the slow cooker, toss in the chopped onions, throw in the split peas and vegetable stock and pour over the water. Set on high and leave it to do it’s thing for 3-4 hours. Whizz with a stick blender, serve.

This will make 4-5 large bowl-sized portions to last all week.

(Alternatively, if you want to make this on the stove, it will take around 30 – 40 minutes, simmering in a conventional cauldron saucepan.)

Now you may think that the reason I made this is because it’s winter and Britain is shivering under sub-zero temperatures, but you’d be wrong.

No, the real reason, to borrow a Spanish phrase, is “para mojar pan” (to moisten bread). Actually, disguise might be a better word. Again, because I’ve developed an intolerance that bloats my stomach and sends my IBS spasms into overdrive, seemingly to wheat, if not gluten, I decided to try a new bread.

They say it’s gluten-free and wheat-free. To that, I’ll also add that it’s flavour-free and has a texture somewhere between cake and cardboard, with the emphasis on the latter, but I can’t abide waste, so soup it is! Smile


ronsrants said...

Sweating off the onion in butter first - way better for pea soup, but oil if you really must - will avoid that already-been-eaten-once appearance!

ronsrants said...

Not sure if we've had this discussion - but if you can make your own bread (I use a Kenwood mixer for the painful part now), spelt or emmer - both primitive forms of wheat - makes very good bread and mostly avoids any intolerance problems.

Modern wheat has been selectively bred for thousands of years, and bears so little resemblance to its primitive forebears that humanity grew up with, that it can trigger adverse reactions that older forms don't.

Einkorn (hard to find), and khorason are good too.

Pamela said...

Agreed, sweating in butter would be great, but unfortunately, I don't do dairy either. And yes, I know it's mega lazy, but the idea of creating another pan to wash up ...

Yes, we have spoken about bread. I have a bread machine even, but while I get vaguely edible results with packet mixes, whenever I try to do it myself, I end up with horrible, unrisen, inedible lumps, more dense than the average house brick.

I guess one day I'll get it right, or I'll find a packet mix that's wheat / gluten free.

ronsrants said...

You won't get anything like wheat bread with a gluten-free mix, but you should at least get a cake-like texture.

Adding an egg helps (the stickiness retains the gas generated by the yeast), and a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with a splash of cider vinegar (which you won't taste when it's baked), will also give it a boost by generating more gas (which, again, I might have already said!).

Re: I end up with horrible, unrisen, inedible lumps, more dense than the average house brick.

Is your yeast dead? It keeps well, but it's not immortal.

Making soup in a pan will avoid the extra pan problem . . .

ronsrants said...

You could try making flatbread. Make up a yeasted, wheat-free batter, and cook them in a dry non-stick frying pan - large or small, you choose - time consuming but they freeze well.

And what about corn bread? Very easy.

Pamela said...

He he ... you're right about flatbread, after all, that's what I end up with, no matter what I intended to make.

Yes, I like corn bread and keep meaning to make some again.


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