Friday, January 16, 2015

Travel Soup

Many of us pick up souveniers when we travel.

Some buy jewelry, others local artwork, still others coffee mugs or paperweights or even refrigerator magnets.

My husband and I pick up food.
My lighting puts a yellow cast on everything - a food photographer I will never be

Last night, my spouse made me soup for supper.  Our weather here in upstate New York has been cold and there is nothing on a cold winter's night like a bowl of homemade soup.

Especially when the soup is made with souvenirs of our travels.

Here is my spouse's recipe.  He is a hands on cook, throwing in some of this and some of that so his recipes are never exact, and neither are his explanations.  If you are an experienced cook, you'll get it.  If you aren't...well, good luck.  But this soup was so delicious tonight that I wanted to share it with you.

Travel Soup
Sea Island Peas (an heirloom field pea we picked up in Charleston, South Carolina.)  You can substitute another small bean -perhaps a red bean.  Or, another bean, but you would have to presoak.
Smoked Ham Hocks (which we bought in a Mennonite store in Ohio)
Enough water to cover meat

You do not have to presoak the peas.  Rather, put them in a pot of cold water with the smoked ham hock, with 3 or 4 bay leaves and garlic cloves, chopped coarsely, to taste.

Bring mixture to boil, then lower to very gentle boil, with pot covered. 


Cook this until the meat and peas are tender. (He wouldn't give me a definite time but said about two hours.  So, your judgement.

 Then, take off lid, turn heat up a little until gently boiling, then let reduce until the broth is as srong as you want it.

Remove meat and beans, strain broth in a fat separator to remove excess fat, then put defatted broth into another pot.  Then, add veggies:  sliced carrots, celery, green onions, spinach, corn, or whatever you have on hand.  Then cook until veggies are tender.

Separately, cook some pasta until al dente, drain, add to soup bowls.

Take meat off bone, chop up into chunks as big as you want, and then put into the soup bowls.  Put a measure of beans into each bowl.  Finally, add the broth/veggie mixture.

Serve with my corn muffins I blogged about earlier this week.

Do you like soup? What is your favorite soup?

13 comments:

  1. Oh, Alana, you hooked me with the title: Travel Soup. I love the story behind it, and I love the photo, and I love the easy recipe! It sounds a bit like minestrone, which I also (you guessed it) love. It's Soup Weather! Thanks for another great recipe to try!

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    1. This soup is something like a minestrone. In fact, it would work well with tomatoes. I wish we had more "travel" ingredients to put in it. We've picked up some interesting local food products in our travels. Hmm, time for a blog post about that tomorrow?

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  2. I LOVE soup!! My mother enjoys it (she's particular which one) and my brother never eats soup. I make it every once in awhile when I know at least my mom will eat it too. That recipe sounds terrific!!!
    Thanks,
    Amy

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    1. Thank you, Amy. It will work well even without the special local field peas. And, tomatoes would also work well as an ingredient.

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  3. It sounds like your husband cooks like mine. He can never duplicate something we love in the same way because he just throws it together. The soup looks and sounds great. I will have to travel travel food. We simply eat when we are there, lol.

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    1. I think all good cooks just wing it. Happy you have one in your family, too!

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  4. I love the idea of travel soup. And it does look delicious. Plus, aren't you the lucky one who has a husband that cooks. (Mine does too.) I'd never thought of saving food souvenirs, unless it's chocolate bars from Germany. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Chocolate bars from Germany sound good just about now. Yum!

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  5. When you finished eating the soup, is the memory of the trip gone too? I collect Christmas tree ornaments on my travels. Then every year when decorating the tree, each ornament brings out memories of all the great places I have been.
    Ray

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  6. We love soup on a cold winter day too! It's definitely comfort food :)

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  7. I love soup and this one sounds good enough to be a main meal. It sounds very similar to the English Pea & Ham soup. I guess in the olden days, the poor families would use the bone because they couldn't afford meat. I remember doing so when my children were young. You still get the flavour and the butcher would let you have the bone for a small cost.

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  8. Hi Alana,

    Not a huge soup fan, but yes, it is an awesome meal for us north easterners :) Thanks for sharing!

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  9. It seems to be quite healthy and tasty. I will try it as we also have winters here but not sure if I can get all the ingredients.

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