~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Paddy Green Split Pea Soup ~ aka Recession Soup

Winter in Cape Town and time to get all souped up! I came upon blogging in an odd way really. Neither of my two kids were very domesticated (um...not odd, I guess) and needless to say that they were not interested in being taught how to cook! That was, until they flew the nest and had to fend for themselves. Well, my son Byron still has one foot in the nest and one in Varsity digs and is learning a few things in Mom's kitchen. But my daughter Jacquie moved to Johannesburg with not much in her cooking repertoire, apart from the endless cups of tea she had to make for her parentals and a cupcake recipe!

Thank goodness for the age of technology! I set off teaching her to cook by remote control via email! The first call came when, shortly after she moved north she wanted to have a housewarming, a birthday bash, etc! The phone rang and..."Mom, could you please e mail me the recipe for the cous cous salad?" Smug mommy moment.... "Yes dear" so, I dutifully typed it up and e mailed it! Jacquie toddled off the the shop and my cell phone rang... "Mom what is Sundried Tomatoes?" Explained in detail. Phone rings two minutes later... "Mom, where do I find them? Add more mummy smugness here... and so on and so on until the shopping was done and the last call was " Thanks, Mom, I have everything on the list now"

A little later..the hot line to mum's kitchen lights up again.. Jacs is in the kitchen with her loot  "Mom, it doesn't look like yours!" Explain...silence... phone rings..etc. That was how we started! I am happy to report that she has become quite competent and her repertoire has increased and now I get the occasional recipe via email! Thanks Jacs xxx

Now, some of the recipes I wrote subsequent to that first one would list the ingredients and then in brackets where to locate them in the grocery store! (not to avoid the phone calls and mommy moments of contentment, but just to save her time, and sometimes I would list the price as well!)  When friends then asked for a recipe I was to lazy to retype them and would just forward the ones I typed up for the kids with apologies for all the directions in brackets and warnings to watch out it burns quickly, etc!! A friend then suggested that I should  just start a blog and then everyone could have them! So that's how I came to be here with my fledgling blog, plus the encouragement of some great bloggers.

I refer to it as recession soup because my son lifted the pot lid to see what was cooking the other night and exclaimed "Aah... recession Soup! "  Why recession soup, I asked, wondering if he knew the price of a ham hock of late, not to mention chorizo!!! Oh, he says, cos it lasts for days!!!!

Paddy Green Split Peas Soup ~ aka recession soup...

500 g paddy Green Split Peas
1 Smoked Ham Hock
1 large onion, finely chopped (keep the ends on, when chopping to prevent mascara from running)
2 medium carrot, finely chopped ( you can also grate the carrot)
2 large potatoes, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder (or half curry and half paprika)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 soup cubes (I use 2 teaspoons Ina Paarman's vegetable stock powder)
1 teaspoon chilli, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste ( beware, first taste then grind)

Place the ham hock whole into a large pot and add boiling water to almost cover it. Bring to a gentle boil.
In a saucepan, gently saute the onion, carrot, potato and garlic.
Add to the hock in the bubbling pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
Wash the split peas under cold running water and add to the pot.
Cook on gentle heat until the hocks are tender.

My son took this pic to show you how much soup he has to get through!

When tender, remove hocks to a cutting board and remove the rind. Shred the meat to small chunks or how you like it and return the shredded meat to the soup.

Serve with chunky bread.

I also use chorizo in place of ham hocks when I am in a hurry! It is wonderful. For the correct chorizo please read HERE. So, then you would lightly fry the chorizo and use the oil in the pan from the chorizo to saute your vegetables in!

Now, recession soup or not,  I serve it for dinner parties with the following to jazz it up a bit!

Mascarpone and pesto canapes

Hot dog rolls ( I always have left over rolls lurking about which I freeze in anticipation of a lasting recession) bur ciabatta or just plain toast cut into triangles will do equally well.)
Parsley Pesto (in a jar from deli or Woolies - near the oil) or Basil pesto

Slice rolls in rounds and paint on both sides with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet in a pre-heated oven for a few minutes to toast. Do not dry them out. Sometimes I just dry fry (painted with oil on either side) them in a large heated pan on the stove top.

Spread with mascarpone and add a dollop of pesto.

Now if you have come into an unexpected inheritance of split peas and do not know what to do with them, here is a few ideas!

                                 Split pea topiaries... quite pretty, don't you think?

Green Split Pea Place Cards...

                                                A wreath for your front door!

Not too sure about the wreath above but I would put my candles in split peas.....

For St. Patricks Day....

And if all else fails just paint the door a darling shade of split pea green!!

That's it folks, I'm splitting...
Enjoy the soup and keep warm!

If you have any more splitting ideas, please leave them in the comment box for me please..


 images: tassels and twigs and pinterest

Today I am linking to Delicious Dishes over at it's a blog party! Lots of yumminess over there, go have a peek your tastebuds will thank you!

Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits over at Permanent Posies. Loads of tastebud inspiration. Already spied a healthy snack over there!

Tuesday at the Table over at All the Small Stuff (very cute blog design, I love it)
This is the first time for me linking up with all these great blogs. Thanks for having me and hosting all of us!


  1. awesome decor look and your soup reminds me of the days that my mom would make recipes like this and like your son says would stay around for days come see what we shared at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  2. love your writing style and sense of humor- but of course the recipe looks and sounds divine! thank you for sharing. Colette ~ Afrique du Sud

  3. Wow! I love this soup and you are a terrific story teller, thanks for linking to Delicious Dishes. Glad to have you.

  4. Hi Veronica.

    Thank you for the recipe I made your soup last night for dinner, it was delicious. As for a splitting idea. Large, foam cone cover with split peas and add Christmas sparkle for the perfect splitting Christmas tree.

  5. Thank you for your kind comments Colette,Annie and Blogparty! Keeps me going and Sue I am so thrrilled that you made the soup and liked it. Oddly enough, I too had it last night, well the remains of, you understand..lol.. Will file that idea for Christmas for sure. Small ones for the table is what I will do.Thanks for that Sue. Festive season not that far off...time flies xxxx

  6. I love a good hearty soup. I don't have to wait for cool weather either. Though most people in the over 100 temps for days on end prefer to stick with light and cool....I am still all about the soup. Yours looks terrific and so does your blog. Thanks for sharing with Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits

  7. smart boy and your soup sounds so delicious, thanks for sharing your recipe! i love your splitting ideas, candles looks great...visiting you from tuesday's tasty tidbits. have a great week! :)

  8. Haha:) I learnt from the best Mom! You should def share that cous cous salad ~ it is a hit every time! Love you. xxx

  9. Veronica Loved reading your post. Oh so agree about mummy smugness....
    Tho it is summer here come winter this is one soup I will be trying. Loved all the ways to decorate with dried peas see a few ideas I could use
    So glad you decided to blog!