This month’s theme here at the Sunday Supper Movement is GREEN, partly due to the fact that Spring started this month. Five days ago, to be exact. And yet, I woke up to find another blanket of snow outside my window this morning. I’m tired of white blankets.
I want tender green buds on tree limbs. I want tenacious green shoots pushing through the earth. I want birds chirping their morning gossip so fervently outside my bedroom window that I have no choice but to wake up! And darnit all, I want to hang up my bulky winter coat and not lay eyes on it again until December.
But since Mother Nature is giving me no choice in the matter, I have to make do. So, while I would give almost anything to walk outside and see lacy little pea shoot tendrils winding their way up a thin wooden trellis, I have to wait a little longer. Fortunately green peas are (in my opinion) the one Spring vegetable that tastes almost as good even after it’s been frozen. Almost. And who doesn’t have at least one bag of peas tucked away in their freezer?
This humble bowl of soup bridges the gap between Winter and Spring. It’s hearty enough to match that white blanket outside my window, yet it’s studded with tiny green orbs of hope. Hope and a promise that soon the GREEN will prevail.
- For the soup:
- 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham
- 2 small onions, small dice
- 3 sticks celery, small dice
- 3 large carrots, rough chop
- 3 bay leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked & chopped
- zest of ½ lemon
- For the dumplings:
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Remove the meat from any bone, skin, and fat. Cut into ¾" thick slices. Place the slices in a large, dep pan (at least 9" wide). Add onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and a smattering of pepper to the pan. Cover with 12 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Put on the lid, then turn heat down to a simmer. Let cook for 1½ hours, skimmy foam every now and again.
- While this is simmering, make the dumplings. Place flour in a bowl with baking powder and a pinch of salt. Using a box grater, grate your cold butter into the bowl along with a few good grates of nutmeg. Add about ¼ cup of cold water and then, using your hand, work everything into a ball of dough. It should be firm and fairly malleable. Add another drizzle or two more water if it seems to dry. Work quickly so that your body heat doesn't melt all the butter.
- Dust a tray with flour and then divide the dough into 12 fairly equal pieces, roll into balls, and place on tray. Refrigerate until needed.
- When cooking time is up, either pull your meat into shreds or pieces using a couple of forks or remove to a cutting board and use a knife. Return to pot. Bring back to a boil then add the peas, rosemary, and lemon zest. Plop in the reserved dumpling dough. Turn heat down to medium and allow to simmer for another 15-20 minutes to allow the dumplings to plump up and cook through.
- I used the meat from a couple pounds of smoked ham shanks, but you could use any smoked pig part like hocks or steaks.
Are you looking towards Spring and the promise that GREEN will soon previal right along side me? If you have any doubt, here are some tantalizingly green recipes packed full of beautiful GREEN PEAS from bloggers across the web. Take a look and tell me you’re not inspired!
Arroz con Pollo from Food Lust People Love
Asparagus, Pea, & Leek Stir-Fry from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Chilled Asparagus Pea Soup from Foodie Tots
Citrus Roasted Salmon with Spring Pea Sauce from The Corner Kitchen
Creamy Corn, Peas and Pasta from Flavor Mosaic
Creamy Pasta with Bacon, Peas, and Bell Peppers from An Edible Mosaic
Creamy Vegan Garlic & Herb Pasta from fANNEtastic food
Curried Fried Rice from girlichef
Duck Bacon Fried Rice from girlichef
Easy Chicken and Dumpling Soup from Melanie Makes
Easy Tofu Curry from The Law Student’s Wife
Ervilhas Guisadas (Porguguese Braised Peas with Eggs and Chourico) from Crumb
Fresh Easy Sweet Pea Soup from Crumb
Gingered Pea Tea Sandwiches with Ricotta from Eats Well With Others
Green Peas and Rice Salad from Pescetarian Journal
Green Pea Salad with Leeks, Bacon, and Goat Cheese from A Spoonful of Luxe
One Pot Honey Balsamic Spring Chicken Recipe from Apron Strings
Pea and Basil Soup from Katie’s Cucina
Pea Soup from Small Wallet Big Appetite
Peas with Romaine and Mint from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken from The Law Student’s Wife
Three Pea Ginger Tofu Stir Fry from The Law Student’s Wife
Turkey Pot Pie from Food Lust People Love
Zucchini, Pea and Mint Fritters from Crumb
What are your favorite ways to use Green Peas? What recipes give you hope that Spring (and green) will soon be here? I’d love it if you’d share your favorites below!