The usual suspects are there: split peas, salt pork, carrots... but taking the opportunity to use up the dregs of last week's wine and the rind from your parmesan adds depth and complexity to this store-cupboard meal.
Pea Soup with Parmesan and Red Wine
salt pork riblets, a small hunk (about fist-sized, if your fist is about the same size as that of a middle-aged woman with small-but-not-tiny hands)
1/2 c. red wine
1 med onion or 3 shallots, finely diced
1 stalk celery with leaves, finely diced
1 big carrot, finely diced
3-4 c. turkey or chicken stock
1-1/2 cups dried green split peas
3 oz. parmesan*, grated + chopped rind
*if you have rind to use up, this is a good place to do it... grate what you can, then coarsely chop the rind; the rind won't melt entirely, but that just leaves delicious bits of goopy chewy cheesiness
Soak salt pork in water for 3-4 days, changing the water once a day. If you don't soak it long enough, you will make soup that is so salty, even your girlfriend - who will eat anything - won't be able to finish a bowlful.
Pat the salt pork dry, then brown in olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Remove and set aside.
Saute the mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot) until softened. Deglaze with the red wine. Return salt pork to pan.
Stir in grated parmesan (and chopped rind, if using). Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Add more stock or water as necessary. When it's done, the peas will be mushy, the pork will be falling off the bone, and it will be exactly as thick as you like your pea soup.
|The Hotel Harbour Grace (formerly Archibald Hotel), as|
seen from our window.
Before departing, Amelia Earhart took an afternoon nap at Archibald's Hotel. Archibald's Hotel, now known as the Hotel Harbour Grace, is so close to us, we can see it from the upstairs windows. As the story goes, Amelia Earhart left the hotel with a can of tomato juice and a thermos of Rose Archibald's soup to sustain her on the trip.
|The commemorative Amelia Earhart statue in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. With our thermos of soup, naturally.|
We have yet to find a version of the story which elaborates on that part. Was Rose Archibald famous for her turkey soup? Her seal soup? Her pea soup? (If anyone reading this can shed some light, we would LOVE to hear from you... caribougrrl is losing sleep over Rose Archibald and her soup.)
|Top: The airfield is located very close to Lady Lake, the site|
of the second-oldest competitive regatta in North America.
Bottom: Welcome to the airfield, please leave your golf clubs,
horses, and ATVs at the gate.
Sure, it wasn't May, but Newfoundland weather in May is not so different than Newfoundland weather in early December... a bit of snow on the ground, gale-force winds. Strangely, as you can see from the photos, despite the significance of the place, there were very few tourists milling about. (There was a car full of teenagers parked near the airfield, but they never got out. It occurred to us they might have been there for a flight of a different kind... )
|Okay, maybe not quite gale-force, but it was really, really windy.|
|What a handsome dog that lady-pilot has!|
Update 7 December 2013: caribougrrl's obsession with Amelia Earhart's soup finally led to this discovery. It seems Rose Archibald made a chicken soup that day. So there we have it.
|Picture of article found on The British Newspaper Archive http://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk|