Monday, March 30, 2020

Pease porridge hot... pea soup for breakfast

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old

Not really, it is about twenty minutes old.
And my coonhound is sitting by my elbow, wanting some.

It doesn't hurt that I like pea soup.  I grew up eating it.  And when I haven't had any in a while, I feel like I'm missing some key vitamins.

Pea soup is a natural medicine, and a tasty one! 
Pea soup has a lot of zinc and magnesium in it, especially if you make it from scratch from good ingredients.

It is perfect for chasing off sinus infections and the winter colds. I get sinus infections every year (it's just the terrible way my sinuses are formed), and this is always a great kicker to get that 'gym sock' taste out of the back of your nose.

Pea Soup for Breakfast

Fill the saucepan a little over 1/2 full
Put it on the stove to boil

Add a dash of good olive oil - how do you tell if it is good? (see below)
Add one or two small chicken or beef bouillon cubes
Add celery seed, black pepper, some cayenne pepper if you wish
The bouillon will probably have enough salt in it without adding extra.

Measure out 1/2 cup or a few handfuls (your choice) of dry green peas
wash the green peas in a colander or strainer, then add to the pot
Bring pot to a slow boil while...

Chop one yellow or white onion fine
Add to the pot

You can throw a curry cube or curry powder in this now, if you wish, or just before serving

Slow boil your mixture or simmer on low, your choice, stir often and don't let it stick to the bottom of the pan

Test to see when it is finished by fishing out a bit of green pea with a spoon or knife, and testing to see if it crushes between your fingertips.  If it doesn't smash easily, it isn't going to be a nice soup yet.  When it does, take it and set it aside to cool for a few minutes.  Get out your stick blender or pour whole mess into a regular blender.  Be careful, it is still hot!  Blend up until smooth.

Feed some to hounds, if there is any left.
Now I have three of them pacing at my knees, asking if there is any left for dogs!

Olive Oil Blues

So, how do you tell if your olive oil is 'good' olive oil?
So much gets sold in the stores that is not actually good quality olive oil.

Here is the way to find our what you have by chemistry.

Take a small portion of what you have bought - enough to cover the bottom of any small container you have.  Place the container in the refrigerator for several hours, up to overnight.

If it congeals like butter in the bottom of your container, that is good olive oil.  If it remains liquid at refrigeration temperatures - your olive oil is actually safflower or sunflower or some other similar oil that has been mixed with olive oil and passed off.

But it says 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
You can't tell by the labels.  It's like them getting to pass off rabbit as fish - some sort of deal that they can call it what they want to call it as long as it passes their tests of smoke temperature and whatever else it is they have for FDA requirements to meet 'olive oil'.  But this test will tell you what it actually is, as few things that meet those tests will congeal at refrigeration temps.

Once you find a good reliable brand you're probably set.  It wouldn't hurt to test a new bottle once in a while, depending on how long it is between your uses.

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