Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Wisconsin

This is not a political blog. It is enough that you know that my Wisconsin family and friends are on my mind.

Madison 2-18-2011

I searched for a gastric show of solidarity in my Scandinavian cookbook. It took awhile to find a vegan recipe. (Milk, eggs, butter and cheese are major ingredients in their cooking.) I found recipe for yellow pea soup and the accompaning story says that during the winter months, most Swedes eat this soup  for supper on Thursday nights. Perfect. The recipe flavors the soup with sweet marjoram and thyme. I have both in my little herb garden and I think I'll offer them as a garnish. The sweet marjoram eaten fresh has a strong perfumey flavor to me. It's soft, green, velvety leaves are very pretty. They also added a little clove flavor, but I decided that I'd go with chili powder and garlic.

I needed a Wisconsin beer that met my gluten-free status and found this brew, made in Milwaukee. My friend, the physical trainer brought me some one weekend and we liked it.

There are other gluten-free beers, but this is the brand I have tried and can speak for. It's good. Maybe it's good because I can find it. I will continue to search for others and one day declare my favorite gluten-free beer.

The menu: Split pea soup, green leaf/orange/onion salad, beer. You may chose to add a hearty bread to wipe that last bit of soup right out of the bowl.

I found a black soup cup in my cupboard that I thought would show off the soup. It says in red letters around it's circumference, "with knowledge comes opportunity, with perseverance comes success". How apropos. 

Split Pea Soup
(Make this a day ahead for the best flavor.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 (or more) red pepper flakes
(or about a teaspoon chili powder)
1 pound split peas, washed
8 cups vegetable broth
salt, pepper
fresh sweet marjorum, fresh thyme

slowly saute chopped onions in the olive oil until transparent
add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute another 2-3 minutes
add the split peas and vegetable broth and bring to a boil,
reduce heat and simmer about an hour

adjust seasonings
blend in blender until smooth

Now put this into a covered bowl, then into the refrigerator overnight. Tomorrow, reheat. Pass the fresh sweet marjorum and thyme. Serve with a nice green salad, a hearty loaf of bread and a cold beer. Skol.

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