British Week – Buckingham Palace Cream Of Pea Soup

In honor of the lovely new Queen Boadicea, I’m declaring the next seven days “British Week” here on Romancing the Bee!

We will celebrate English cooking, gardening and beekeeping!  Okay, I know I do that a lot already, but the Queen deserves a proper celebration!

With a few scary exceptions (Marmite. Jellied eels. Dormice on a stick.), I’m quite fond of English Food. The following recipe is exceptional!

Buckingham Palace Cream of Pea Soup

2 cups split peas
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely diced salt pork
1 medium onion, well chopped
1 medium carrot, well chopped
2 leeks (the green parts only, well chopped)
1 cup spinach, well chopped
bay leaf
1 pinch thyme
1 cup stock
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
Directions:
Cover two cups of split peas with water and allow to soak for a little over one hour.

Pour off the water and put the peas into a large saucepan with one quart fresh water. Add salt. Bring to a boil and skim the water, the cover the pan and simmer steadily.

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a soup kettle and drop in 1/2 cup of finely diced salt pork. Cook until the pork begins to brown. Add onion and saute until soft but not brown. Now add the carrot, tops of the leeks and spinach. Drop in a small piece of bay leaf and a pinch of thyme.

Cook for a few minutes more and then pour in the partly cooked peas with their water. Continue to cook for about one hour, or until the peas are very soft. Rub the soup through a fine sieve and add one cup of stock, then bring back to a boil.

Season to taste with salt and add honey, butter and heavy cream.

My Favorite Cottage Garden Plant – My Grandmother’s Sweet Peas

Today my sweet peas bloomed. It was a special day for me. I grew my sweet peas from seed from the garden that my grandmother and great-grandmother tended.

My Grandmother’s Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas come in both annual and perennial varieties. It’s true that the annuals are showier vis a vis color and fragrance, but the so-called “Everlasting Pea” comes back bigger and better every year.

I have the perennial variety. It is also more tolerant of the heat and humidity of a Southern Ohio summer.

And my bees love it!!

I hope someday to pass down seeds to my daughter and granddaughter. It will truly be an Everlasting Pea.