Monday, November 29, 2010

Pigeon Pea and Ham Soup

Back to some Caribbean cooking!  I cooked a lot of island food while in Florida.  Many cooks I that worked with were from the Caribbean islands.  So, I learned as much as I could from them while I was there.  Mastering the caribbean spices and chili peppers is difficult.  If you want to learn Caribbean cooking then start with the island native dishes.  Arawak and Carib tribes cooked some great food!  Jerk and barbacoa are two examples.  Both dishes use local chili peppers and are very spicy hot!  Pigeon peas have a deep flavor like lentils.  Pigeon peas are a main staple in the Caribbean too. 
     Soup Recipe:  Boil vegetable broth in a sauce pot. 
     Add a little bit each of chopped celery, carrot and onion. 
     Add a little bit of these ingredients:  chopped scallion, chopped tomato, diced green bell pepper, diced red bell pepper and a half of a Scotch Bonnet Chile Pepper ("Bonnie" Peppers are very hot!). 
     Add a generous amount of washed canned pigeon peas or cooked dried pigeon peas. 
     Add a few hand torn ham chunks. 
     Add a bay leaf, a little ground allspice, sea salt and black pepper. 
     Simmer till the flavors meld and the vegetables are cooked tender. 
     Mash 1/2 of the pigeon peas in the pot. 
     Stir and simmer the soup for a few more minutes. 
     Serve with a slice of toasted bread. 
     This soup is very spicy and satisfying.  You will immediately know if you used too much hot chili pepper in this soup!  Go sparingly on the chili.  The broth is so nice and savory!  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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