There are some soups which can stand on their own. Others work best when pared with another dish, be it something as straightforward as a sandwich or as complex as a paella. As an example, when I think about chicken soup I typically think about the soup alone. When I think of Tomato soup, inevitably I also think about grilled cheese sandwiches. Why? Because Tomato soup is best served with grilled cheese sandwiches.
This soup falls into the later category. By itself, it’s okay, but with some other food at it’s side it becomes manna from heaven. Which leads me to believe that there’s a new culinary law I can add to Kate’s Laws. Let’s call it “Kate’s Law of the exponential taste increase of soup”. This law states that one can improve the taste of most soups simply by serving a tasty sandwich.
The corollary to this law is that the crunchier the crust of the sandwich bread, the more effective the sandwich will be in improving the taste of the soup.
- 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1/4 lb pancetta, diced
- 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- 2 star anise
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup split yellow peas, dried
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium butter nut squash, peeled and diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Sour cream and chives (to garnish, and thus – optional)
Place a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, pancetta, ginger, star anise and cumin. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize.
Add the bay leaves, tumeric, water and peas. Lower the heat to a simmer (185 degrees F)and cook until the peas are soft, about 90 minutes give or take 15 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and diced squash. Raise the heat until the soup comes to a light boil (210 – 212 degrees F) and cook for 20 minutes. At this point, remove the bay leaves and star anise. Puree the soup either through a wand or a blender. Return to heat and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes.
Top with sour cream and chives and serve.