|Spring Pea and White Bean Chowder|
On tap for tonight is Spring Pea and White Bean Chowder and Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads. For the salads, I just grilled up some chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley mixed with a few tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The sliced grilled chicken tops a bed of romaine lettuce and my favorite bottled Caesar dressing - Cardini's - is drizzled over. A sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan completes the salad. The Spring Pea and White Bean Chowder is my version of split pea soup. My ham bone from Easter dinner has been haunting me from the freezer. A traditional split pea soup seemed to wintry. I developed a new soup/chowder for the springtime weather we have been experiencing. I used my stock from the freezer. Looks like icebergs headed for the Titanic.
With a big pot of chowder and the fixings for a hearty salad chopped in the refrigerator, dinner is ready to go at our house. With the variety available, each family member will to satisfied with some part of the meal without the Chief Chef and Bottle Washer resorting to preparing different foods for the likes and dislikes of the family. Who would want to do that anyway?!!
Make a couple meals in advance. You'll be happy when dinner time rolls around. With such a big potful of chowder, pack some up for the neighbors. They will thank you.
Spring Pea and White Bean Chowder
makes a big pot of chowder, enough for about 12 - 14 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups carrots, diced
4 cups onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
12 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
1 pound dried split peas
1 ham bone from your Easter ham
2 teaspoons thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the stock, peas, ham bone, thyme, bay leaves, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours. The peas will be tender and the chowder will have slightly thickened. Remove the ham bone and trim off any ham that may still be on it. Add to the chowder. Stir in the white beans and the parsley and adjust the seasonings.
Store in the refrigerator for about 3 - 4 days. Any chowder that is left can be packed up for the freezer to enjoy later.