When I think winter, I think soup, stew and "stoup." And with my white boy from East Tennessee who loves Mexican food: Chil. It is approaching mid January, and although unseasonably warm in Knoxville, Tennessee(60F!), it seemed like the right time for something that wouldn't really fly in our warm summers.
When I was in the doctor's office with my mother last June, I was reading the outdated magazines in the waiting room. (Hey, I am a doctor myself, so I know how outdated those magazines are!) My mom was being restricted for two weeks to a very low iodine diet and I saw a recipe in Woman's Day that I thought might work for her. So I ripped it right out of the magazine. Trust me, I am not proud that I did it, but folks, if you are in my office, go ahead. I donate several recently used magazines to my office, but believe me, no one is going to miss a page unless they are actually reading an article instead of looking at pictures. And who isn't so nervous at the doctor's office that they are only looking at the photos?
The recipe was for split pea soup, but really this is STOUP. When I looked stoup up in the dictionary, it is a baptismal font. But according to Rachael Ray, who I have tried my very best to hate because she is danged cute and perky, but just cannot manage to do so (she seems genuinely nice), it is "thicker than a soup and thinner than a stew." Since her family is Italian, I figure she is either Catholic or at least tried to be Catholic at one point in her life, so it is o
kay to call a thick meat and veggie concoction the same thing as a baptismal font, as long as you don't try to serve it in one!
This is full of veggies and has just a tiny bit of meat. Frankly, for vegetarians, you could leave the bacon out and substitute a small amount of liquid smoke or a vegetarian sausage and get a similar affect.
One other great thing about this recipe is that you can use your crock pot (AKA slow cooker) which means you can be doing something else, like GOING TO WORK :), while it cooks.
One note about this recipe: I think it tasted good, but as recipes go, it is pretty average. Also, I would NOT put in the parsnips or I would limit the amount severely. It could just be the particular parsnips I got, but I cut the Woman's Day suggested amount by 1/4 and still thought they overpowered every other flavor in the dish. But if you love, love, love parsnips, hey, go for it!
At the end of the meal, I served a STORE BOUGHT (from Earthfare) tiramisu. They do a really nice job with this dessert (which means in Italian "pick me up.") I am very committed to Paul and very committed to healthy meals with good fresh ingredients, local if available, but I will NEVER be as committed to making a dessert every day as my baby is EATING DESSERT EVERY DAY :) He reminds me of my granddad, Grady, who even ate dessert at breakfast--sorghum on a biscuit! One day, remind me to tell you about my misadventure of trying to make tiramisu in an Embassy Suite kitchen. If this recipe above is stoup, making tiramisu in a hotel kitchen is STUPID!
NOTE TO FOLLOWERS: If anyone has a great tiramisu recipe and some hints abotu making it, send them my way!
Paul's opinion of this meal:
Split Pea and Bacon Stoup: "Hearty and filling." (Men, take note. Even though my husband really means, "This would have been okay, but it had too much parsnip," he said the most positive thing he could. Way to go, baby!)
Tiramisu: The comment cannot be translate but think "pleasure grunt."
RECIPE FOR SPLIT PEA AND BACON STOUP
Serves 6 ( I made half and we had ample leftovers)
1 lb split peas (you can buy these in bulk in some stores)\
6 cups of chicken or beef or veggie broth
4 carrots cut into thin slices or 1/2 in cubes
1 parsnip (I would OMIT this, if I made this recipe again)
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced or cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I added more-- 1 tsp in half this recipe)
4 slices of bacon in the stoup and one to cut as decor (I used microwave kind) You could just as easily add a ham hock.
Sour cream dollop for the top, if desired.
In a slow cooker (5 or 6 qt),combine all ingredients except sour cream.Cookcovered for 7-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. If you use ham hocks, transfer them to a plate before serving and discard skin and bones returning meat to the pot. Partially puree with an immersion mixer. Add a dollop of sour cream and some bacon "bits" before serving.
WOMAN'S DAY HAS MANY OUTSTANDING RECIPES. I just personally did not find this to be one of them.