Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Chef - Petite Provence - Portland Oregon

Split Pea Soup
Sometimes in my travels, I come across a dish or recipe and seek to tell the story of how it's made.
As a result, I've added a new feature. Inviting a guest chef from different restaurants and kitchens that I meet from around the globe to share their recipes or secrets. Often, these chefs are the silent ones that create the food that we eat everyday. It's very rare that they get any recognition, when often they should.  Enjoy!

Chef Dilmar Cardenas
Chef Dilmar has been working the Petite Provence Kitchen in Portland, Oregon for almost six years.

The 36 year old started his journey from Chiapas Mexico and ended up in several kitchens in the Portland area before his current stint at Petite Provence.Today he is making one of his favorites soups, split pea.

Now while it may sound like a dull and boring dish, it happens to be a hearty soup made for almost all seasons.

The trick is to use heavy cream in the mix and to use a hand immersion blender to assure a smooth and velvet texture.

Green Pea Soup
1 pound green split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained
1 pound ham hocks (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
10 sprigs parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
7 cups cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
Freshly ground black pepper

Serving suggestion: Topped with toasted croutons

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven combine the peas, hocks, onion, celery and carrot. Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf together with kitchen string. Add the herb bundle, water, and salt, bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1-1/2 hours or until the peas are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and remove the hocks. Remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the bones, fat and skin. Cut the meat into cubes. Remove the herb bundle and discard.
Add the heavy cream and puree the soup with a hand held blender or in batches in a blender. Heat the soup to a simmer add the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in heated bowls with the croutons, if desired.

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