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 Pea Soup

Mrs Beeton Recipes Index Page

Estimated Time: 2 hrs 30 min

Servings: 4 bowls of soup

Non-standard Cooking Utensils: A large pan.


Ingredients for Pea Soup:

450 g (1 lb) fresh or frozen green peas

1.1 litres (2 pints) of economical stock

1 to 2 thin slices of ham, chopped

3 medium onions, sliced

2 lettuces, shredded

1 French roll, broken into crumbs

1 handful of spinach

60 g (2 oz) butter

¼ teaspoon sugar

Cooking Method for Pea Soup

1 Place the butter, ham, peas, onions, lettuce and half the stock in a pan and simmer for 1 hour
2 Add the remainder of the stock and the bread crumbs and boil for 1 hour
3 Boil the spinach separately for 5 minutes and squeeze it very dry. The spinach is added to colour the soup.
4 Add the spinach to the soup, and pass the mixture through a sieve. Taste and season with salt to taste.
5 Add the sugar to the soup, boil for 1 minute and serve in warm soup bowls.

THE PEA
It is supposed that the common gray pea, found wild in Greece, and other parts of the Levant, is the original of the common garden pea, and of all the domestic varieties belonging to it. The gray, or field pea, called bisallie by the French, is less subject to run into varieties than the garden kinds, and is considered by some, perhaps on that account, to be the wild plant, retaining still a large proportion of its original habit. From the tendency of all other varieties “to run away” and become different to what they originally were, it is very difficult to determine the races to which they belong.

The pea was well known to the Romans, and, probably, was introduced to Britain at an early period; for we find peas mentioned by Lydgate, a poet of the 15th century, as being hawked in London. They seem, however, for a considerable time, to have fallen out of use; for, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Fuller tells us they were brought from Holland, and were accounted “fit dainties for ladies, they came so far and cost so dear.”

There are some varieties of peas which have no lining in their pods, which are eaten cooked in the same way as kidney-beans. They are called sugar peas, and the best variety is the large crooked sugar, which is also very good, used in the common way, as a culinary vegetable. There is also a white sort, which readily splits when subjected to the action of millstones set wide apart, so as not to grind them. These are used largely for soups, and especially for sea-stores. From the quantity of farinaceous and saccharine matter contained in the pea, it is highly nutritious as an article of food.

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