Pressure cookers are a great way to produce meals quickly - even pot roast and beef stew can be cooked in less than an hour. In "Pressure Perfect", Lorna Sass provides more than 200 recipes for the pressure cooker along with essential information about buying and using pressure cookers. These recipes will let you make great homemade meals in a third of the time without sacrificing flavor. Today's recipe, "Southern Split Pea Soup with Ham", shows how a delicious soup with dried beans can be made in only 10 minutes. Yup only 10 minutes of cooking for dried beans! No wonder even Jacques Pepin touts the pressure cooker as a great way to shave time off your cooking.
Southern Split Pea Soup with Ham
Making split pea soup in the pressure cooker is a special treat: the peas dissolve into a comforting puree, saving you the nuisance of using a blender. The soup thickens and develops a surface "skin" after standing. Stir well and thin with water or chicken broth, as needed.
When shopping for split peas, look for ones with bright color. Faded peas mean faded flavor.
10 minutes high pressure plus natural pressure release
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil (needed to control foaming)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
- 2 large ribs celery, diced
- 8 cups water
- 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) green split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 1 pound smoked ham steak or pork butt, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
Heat butter in a 6-quart or larger cooker. Stir in the onions, celery, water, split peas, ham, bay leaves, and salt.
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape.
Remove the bay leaves. Add the thyme (if using) and simmer until its flavor pervades the soup. Stir well, taking care to blend in the peas that have sunk to the bottom. Add additional salt to taste, as much as 1 teaspoon, if needed.
Copyright © 2006 Lorna Sass
About Pressure Perfect
In Pressure Perfect, Lorna Sass, the country's leading authority on pressure cooking, distills her two decades of experience into one comprehensive volume. First learn everything you need to know about buying and using today's 100% safe cookers. Then enjoy more than 200 recipes for preparing soups, meats, poultry, grains, beans, vegetables, and desserts in record time. How about whipping up a savory risotto in 4 minutes, chicken cacciatore in 12 minutes, or a delectable chocolate cheesecake in 25 minutes?
Get "Pressure Perfect: Two Hour Taste in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker" at:
Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.