Tip for the domestically inexact #2

When one has, due to a throbbing migraine 2 nights ago, inadvertently omitted a crucial step in making pea and ham soup such as say, sauteeing the onions/garlic before browning the bacon hocks (resulting in a soup of almost 1970s homecooking blandness), it is in fact possible to still rescue the rest of the soup! Hurrah!

What one does is make up an onion broth separately, almost as if one were intending to make French Onion soup. The crucial difference is that instead of cooking the onions until they are caramelised with just the right amount of crunchy black bits, one only cooks the onions until they are soft and translucent. Then add a few glugs of medium sweet sherry, and some beef stock, and simmer until the onions start to dissolve into the broth at the edges. Then bring out the wand-blender, puree the onions and broth, and add to the soup in need of rescue.

This is also a good time to remind the domestically inexact that salt should never be added to a soup/stew containing legumes (peas/lentils) while it simmers as it will make the legumes tough. However, once the legumes have discorporated into pea/lentil sludgy yumminess, adding salt will no longer toughen them (it’s a reaction with the outer coat of the legume, which by this stage has denatured and dissolved). So, if one’s migraine also meant that one neglected to salt the soup after the peas’ discorporation and before serving, this reheating-with-onion-broth time can be usefully employed to correct that error as well.

Time for another bowl!

Categories: Life

3 replies

  1. I would have cooked the onions and garlic gently, then thrown them into the soup. I probably wouldn’t have thought to do them in stock first – bu that’s assuming you’d put stock in with the other ingredients.Cooking while distracted or sickly makes for some interesting things. I left the eggs out of a choccie cake destined for a 21st. I had to make another (the first was quite nice as a pudding though) which made it an expensive stuff up.

  2. Presumably “expensive” means you’d used the nice chocolate. At least you got to have pudding at home after all the partygoers had scoffed the second cake.

  3. “cooking the onions until they are caramelised with just the right amount of crunchy black bits,” … oh yes yes – culinary pormography – I love sauteed onions.Sorry about your migraine problem.I notice that Blackmores have a preventative-type herbal remedy (don’t laugh if nothing less than pethidine works for you).

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