Split pea suggestions?
I adore split peas, although I am partial to the yellow variety.
I love Ethiopian Kik Alicha which is a mild split pea puree. The recipe in Olive Trees and Honey is a great recipe. I also recently made a delicious Ethiopian Split Pea and Kabocha Squash Stew with Collards.
There is also a Greek split pea puree but have yet to try it.
You can always go Indian with a split pea dal. I like one with lime and ginger.
I also like the Iraqi pomegranate soup that uses split peas (and rice) as the base.
I was lucky this was the one I had on file, the split peas melt in there very nicely and make it special.
PORTUGESE KALE SOUP
6 cups water
3/4 cup dry red beans (I used cranberry beans since I'm not a fan of kidney)
Soak overnight, or bring to boil for 2 minutes and let sit an hour. I see other recipes that just used canned beans if you're in a rush.
1 lb bone-in beef shank; I used short ribs because I had some in the freezer
3 chorizo or similar sausage
2/3 cup split peas
chopped onion and garlic to taste
salt and pepper
Saute meat, then remove and put aside in the bowl with beans in water, and split peas.
Saute onions and garlic til translucent.
Add all back into pot, including bean water, bring to a boil and simmer 2 hours.
(I added a quart of beef stock because I accidentally threw out most of the water!)
After 2 hours, remove beef and shred meat off bones.
Return meat to the pot along with:
6 cups chopped kale
3 thin sliced or chopped potatoes
a handful of shredded cabbage or bok choy
Simmer another 30 minutes.
Two things I didn't do, since I was TRYING to follow the recipe, was possibly add a splash of vinegar or wine at some point. Maybe next time.
Also everyone makes a big deal not to season it other than salt and pepper, but I did see recipes calling for parsley, thyme, bay leaf or crushed red pepper, I will probably experiment in the future. But it really was fine with just salt and pepper, I just can't leave well enough alone!
If anyone is more knowledgable about this soup, feel free to comment, apparently there are all different versions from different parts of Portugal and the Azores.
I'm of Portuguese origin (Azores) and this is interestingly the first time I've heard of this soup containing split peas. Most versions I know contain only kale, potatoes, chorizo, and sometimes red kidney beans - as it's a very humble soup, other meats don't appear unless special occasions. The texture/thickness of the soup is given by the breakdown of the potatoes in the soup.
Your soup sounds terrific, and quite authentic according to the style of some in Southeastern Massachusetts. That's pretty similar to the way I make what we generically just call Portuguese Soup.
My husband's grandmother used to soak dried lima beans and slip them out of their skins to thicken the soup. Her daughter switched to split peas to streamline. I usually stick with the limas to honor my husband's Vovo (pronounced "vuvau".) and to honor his childhood memory of the soup.
Her version also included beef, bay and cabbage. I've seen many that don't call for any of those, so maybe it's a regional thing. I generally use canned kidney beansand add them near the end so they don't disintegrate.
Here in Mass. we can get fantastic local chourico, so that's what I use. Lots of people prefer linguica since it's not as spicy. I think thyme would be a perfect addition, as well as a bit of vinegar or wine for a little acid.
How ever you make it, it's delicious!
Thanks for the advice and info, I will continue to tinker a bit but what a wonderful dish this is even as I originally made it. Oh and I had already decided that my working name for this would be just plain ol' Portugese Soup, that says it all! (No need to mention the kale, for people like my husband; he's fine with it as long as he doesn't know)
I just made Portugese Kale Soup last night for the first time, it's more like a stew. The recipe I used called for 3/4 cup of red beans and also 3/4 cup split peas, in addition to some beef bones and chorizo. Then some kale, sliced potatoes and cabbage (I used bok choy) towards the end. It was very different and satisfying. The correct name is Caldo Verde, or I can give you the recipe I cobbled together.
Here's a simple version I just Googled just to give you an idea.