Thursday, October 10, 2013

Madame Benoît's Pea Soup

This recipe comes via my friend Elise, an amazing cook. It's a simple, brilliant soup. Serve with a hearty whole wheat bread for a nice meal.

Madame Benoît's Pea Soup 

1 lb dried green split peas

8 cups cold water
4 T oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp salt
bit of lemon zest
1 tsp dried savory

Wash peas. Let them sit in cold water for 12 hours. Heat your oil in a soup pot. Add onion, cook until transparent. Pour in the peas with their water.They will start creating big puffs of scum. Skim that off. Then add salt, zest and savory. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat. Cover and let simmer. Madame Benoît says two hours, until tender. Depending on your peas, it could need more. They will be soft when ready. For creaminess, sieve. If you have some left over, you will find that when you take it out of the fridge the next day it has thickened. Just add some water when reheating.

Note: I never soak the peas at all, and the soup always turns out fine.

Pink Note - Shelling Peas, James McNeill Whistler, 1884

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I'm someone who likes sweet cornbread, and this is very sweet! This is just a simple recipe I make to serve with chili.


1 c soy milk
1 T vinegar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 c corn meal
1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 c margarine (or oil)
1/4 c brown sugar, for sweet cornbread; 1/2 c for cornbread that's basically cake

Heat oven to 400. Mix milk and vinegar and let stand while you do the rest. 

Mix dry ingredients. 

Melt margarine in a cast iron skillet if you have one, swirl it around to grease the whole pan, then pour into a bowl and add sugar. (If you don't have a skillet, just melt butter and add the sugar, and grease your baking pan separately.) 

Add milk mixture to margarine mixture and stir. Then add dry ingredients, mix, pour into greased skillet or pan, and bake for 20 minutes or half an hour, till the edges brown and pull away from the sides and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Remembrance of a Garden, Paul Klee, 1914