I was going to start this post with a quippy intro about the pea soup scene from The Exorcist. However, when I did a Google search for images, I got freaked out and decided, no, I would be genuine. You see, I would never ever watch The Exorcist because I do not do well with scary movies. And demon possession is extraordinarily scary stuff.
But that’s okay because this post is about soup, not scary movies, though until yesterday, I had kept my distance from pea soup as well. I had no particular reason – I like peas well enough. But when Amanda found a Pea and Parmigiano Soup recipe in one of our recent issues of Fine Cooking, I said, “Sure! Why not?” And wow, am I glad I did.
It’s been warmer in Hampton Roads recently, freakishly warm for mid-January. At the end of summer, when I’ve grown tired of wearing shorts and capris and tank tops, when I’ve had enough of sweating and squinting in the sunshine, I take to wearing jeans, long pants, every chance I get. It’s sort of my way of coaxing the cooler weather along, as if Mother Nature might notice I’m wearing shoes and pants and think, “Oh crap, I’m running late with colder weather.” It’s not a highly effective system, but I like it.
So yesterday, after we took a walk around the neighborhood in the balmy weather, we came home and made Pea and Parmigiano Soup. As if we could say, “Look, Mother Nature. We’re making hot soup because it’s “so cold” outside.” And Mother Nature would say, “Ugh, *face palm,* it’s supposed to be cold. Stupid, stupid, stupid…” and adjust the weather accordingly.
It only sounds like I have lots of imaginary conversations with Mother Nature.
This soup is super fresh, light, and most importantly for us as of late, lower on the sorts of fats we would normally find in a split pea soup. This recipe leaves out the ham hocks or bacon grease, and instead of adding heavy cream, it uses Parmigiano Reggiano, fluffy, thin shreds of it, to add creaminess to the soup. We enjoyed our soup with toasted French bread, which we spread with butter, cheese, whatever we wanted. Some slices, I just dipped right in the soup, and that was lovely. In the future, because it’s so light, I might pair it with a sandwich or a salad for a fresh meal that’s a bit more substantial. And on a side note: the recipe recommends drizzling with truffle oil. We didn’t have any, and that stuff is expensive. We drizzled with olive oil, and that was just lovely.
So there we have it: I’m officially a pea soup fan. I still will not watch The Exorcist. And I’m weirdly chatty with Mother Nature.