While we shared funny stories of fussy family members that only ate chicken nuggets , one of our guests appeared to not have touched her meal. Or rather, her soup. She was chomping back on sour dough toast okay.
A shiver ran down my spine. I had cooked a bad meal for our guests.
Now if the conversation had been hovering around a topic unrelated to food and eating and fussiness, I may have sat there uncomfortably all night wondering whether I had over-dilled the pea soup.
"Um, you having trouble with that soup there?!" I chimed in. Thankfully, plenty of laughs. "Oh yeah I just don't do soup. I don't like liquid food".
Now this is a particularly chunky soup. It ain't the blended type. Vegetables bob about quite obviously. Then came the confessions of 'oh well I actually mainly eat burgers and pizza and all that'.
But here's the twist: I can comprehend a non-cook person with no interest or knowledge of food taking such an attitude to my soup. But she went on to explain she normally cooks southern-style fish and seafood dishes, and a great vegetarian lasagna I must drop by for...
Well, despite this soup being rejected, I can heartily recommend it. The DILL IS ESSENTIAL, so don't be tempted to omit it. No pictures sorry, but it's a lovely light green base with flashes of orange, white and green from the chunky vegetables.
I slightly adapted this from Cynthia Lair's Feeding the Whole Family.
DILLED DOUBLE PEA SOUP
2 cups green split peas
2 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 t salt
2 large carrots, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
2 t ground cumin
8 cups water
1 vegetable stock cube
2 large bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas
2 T snipped fresh dill
Soak split peas for about five hours in eight cups of water. Discard soaking water.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker or large pot. Add onion and salt and saute until golden. Add carrot, potatoes, cumin and pepper and saute few more minutes. Boil water and add a small amount to chopped stock cube and mix to dissolve. Add to pot with rest of water, split peas and bay leaves.
If pressure cooking: Bring up to pressure on high heat then lower and cook for 40 minutes.
If using a regular pot: Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer 60-90 minutes. (Yes, it's worth finding that pressure cooker down the op shop).
Once split peas have softened and the soup has become creamy, add dill and frozen peas. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Cook a few more minutes (don't over-do as peas will go mushy).
FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS AND OLDER: Reserve some frozen peas/carrot/potato and steam until soft. Blend/mash and serve with no salt.
FOR BABIES 9 MONTHS AND OLDER: Serve soup as is, but cut back on salt.
FOR BABIES/TODDLERS ONE YEAR AND OLDER: Serve soup just the way it comes.