I’ve always been fascinated with French Canadian cuisine. In fact I have a cookbook somewhere from the famous Au Pied de Cochon restaurant in Montreal. I’ve never been to Montreal but it’s on my list. In the meantime, in would be nice to find that cookbook.
My impression of French Canadian food is that it is a hearty, farmers’ fare for the cold climate, yet sophisticated, having it’s roots in French cuisine. My inspiration for this soup comes from the website, Canadian Living. The recipe called for yellow split peas. Although I badgered M. Parret into driving me around to every store in town, I couldn’t find yellow split peas nor yellow lentils. I found “coral” lentils which turn yellow when cooked, so that was okay :)
This is a very easy soup to make with all the usual suspects; onion, garlic, bay leaf, celery, carrots and smoked pork. This is a smoked jambonneau, similar to a ham hock.
Just to keep interested, I took down my construction dust covered Le Creuset casserole, washing it twice in hot, soapy water.
Encouraged, I made some parsley, garlic croutons. Very easy to make with a crusty baguette, good butter, good olive oil, fresh parsley and garlic.
I know this bathroom won’t be finished by Christmas but I’m glad I cooked.
Quebec Yellow Split Pea Soup
2 tbsp butter
4 celery branches, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 3/4 cups yellow split peas or lentils
1 tsp dried thyme
3-4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 smoked jambonneau or 2 ham hocks, skin removed
8 cups water
Cook the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in the butter until the celery is crisp tender. Stir in the peas, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper. Add the jambonneau and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the jambonneau, separate the meat from the bone, dice the meat and return it to the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Garlic Parsley Croutons
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 baguette, sliced thin
Melt the butter in the olive oil, then add the garlic and saute until it begins to brown. Remove the pan from the flame, add the parsley and baguette slices, then mix well to coat the bread. Place the slices on a cookie sheet in a 200 F oven and cook until the slices are dry and crispy.