"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

21.2.13

Cheating on Winter Pea Soup: French Fridays with Dorie

Yum
pea soup


It seemed like such a simple soup. Boil up some peas and romaine lettuce...puree and dinner. Perfect for a light Sunday night meal with just my son and husband...or so I thought. Everything was fine until I started to puree the soup with the immersion blender...SPARKS began to fly, and it wasn't romance, it was the FUSE and the immersion blender blown. My hands are still shaking from the shock of the blender blowing out.

The shock jolted my memory. I read an article not to long ago in the New York Times about the dangers of immersion blenders, primarily because people forget to unplug them before they untangle food that is caught in the bland.

I had cut the romaine into fairly small pieces, but I guess because it is stringy, a piece got stuck on the blade. I didn't even get a chance to risk cutting off a finger removing the tangled piece of lettuce instead I almost got electrocuted. 


Moral of the story: DO NOT USE AN IMMERSION BLENDER WITH STRINGY VEGETABLES: lettuce, asparagus,  swiss chard...etc.

To top it off I wasn't that impressed with the flavor of the soup. I was concerned from reading the ingredients that it was going to be too green, too sweet... it didn't have a grounding flavor to it, so I fried the bacon that was recommended for a garnish in the pot and left the fat. 

It wasn't enough. I ended up pureeing the bacon bits into the soup using a regular blender...which Dorie had recommended in the first place.

But the soup still didn't excite me, so I liquored it up with 2 teaspoons of vermouth, but it still wouldn't yield enough flavor.

The addition of the bacon and the vermouth helped to give the soup a base and made it pleasant enough... I can't help but wonder if a recipe with maybe mint or a citrus might have worked better to add a little flair to such a light soup.

I reference a few recipes that I thought looked interesting. This recipe has basil oil...hmm. Spring Pea Soup and garlic and heavy cream to ground it.
This one has mint, and in other ways it is very similar to Dorie's recipe: Spring Pea Soup This recipe Pea Soup with Creme Fraiche  adds a potato. That might have given it a rich texture. PS: Dorie seems to like watery soup. I remembered last time to use 2 less cups than she recommends. 

What are your thoughts?


Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

 










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38 comments:

  1. Ouch - sorry this was such a trial for you. That had to have been a bit scary.
    I've killed an immersion blender before (a Cuisinart) - but not with such a bang... I gave in and replaced it with a Kitchen Aid and it seems to blow through almost anything as long as there is enough liquid in it. I made this soup in my blender and had no issues.

    I do agree that the soup needed a little "something" extra on the flavor end (i.e. a little fat or acid).

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    1. It was truly a shocking experience. I was going to ask for advice on a replacement blender. So you like Kitchen Aid over Cuisnart?

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  2. How scary is that?!?!?! O.K. - I will definitely be unplugging my immersion blender from now on before cleaning out the strings! Thanks for the warning but sorry you had to suffer the consequences of a lesson learned. Well the finished soup does look delicious! Like the addition of the mint.

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    1. I was always afraid of my mandolin slicer but now I realize it was my immersion blender is the appliance to be most cautious with.

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  3. Yikes - that's frightening! Thankfully you weren't hurt when it blew out. We have a Cuisnart which I love. (I accidentally killed my mom's blender when I visited last summer, but my Cuisnart has withstood all my beatings). ;)

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    1. I did get a small shock which startled me more than hurt me... but I was definitely unsettled by the experience.

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  4. I´m glad you´re OK after the blender ordeal Diane. I liked the soup, but added almost double the amount of peas and arugula. A potato is a great indredient to add, I do it with a spinach/broccoli soup and it makes such a difference. Have a good weekend!

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    1. Thanks Paula, I really like the arugula idea and the leek one.

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  5. Bummer. Glad you're OK. Great tip...I rarely use my immersion blender, but now I'll use caution depending on the ingredients. After all that drama, it's too bad this was a dud for you.

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    1. Really... I was hoping for an electrifying soup!

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  6. That was one eye opening article. I am already afraid of my garbage disposal. It was a pretty bowl of soup, too thin for my taste.

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    1. Dorie likes thin soup... I am for now on going to go 2 cups less stock than she recommends and add stock to thin if it is too thick.

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  7. Diane - hi. Yes, I am way happier with my Kitchen Aid than I was with my Cuisinart immersion blender. I have a KitchenAid KHB100ER1, but I am not sure they still make this model - sadly...

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    1. Thanks for the blender referrence... need to look for another one.

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  8. Wow, now that's a scary blender experience! As for the soup, it was alright, but as you say, it didn't have much in the way of flavor. We enjoyed it, but I don't think I'd make it again!

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    1. I'm going to try one of the other ones I mentioned... maybe the mint flavored I think that would be a great bring in Springtime kinda of soup.

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  9. Egads! I haven't yet been shocked or removed a finger with my immersion blender but I've heard of other people having problems. That said I DO love my immersion blender and I have the Cuisinart. i used the blender for this soup though as I didn't think the immersion blender would get it as smooth as I wanted. I'm sorry you didn't like the soup. We enjoyed it.

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    1. I really like the immersion blender too it is so less messy than ladling soup into a blender. I will replace mine and be careful of what I puree.

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  10. Thanks for giving us the heads up on the immersion blender!! Sorry you had such a scarry experience, I am sure I will think of you every time I use my immersion blender in the future :-)

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    1. Oh, I hope you don't. I need to replace my soon so I don't develop an" immersion blender phobia."

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  11. First, I wondered what exactly had happened with your Immersion equipment so am glad to know the entire story. Thanks for posting the warning. When using mine (if I ever do again), I will judge the ingredients to be "stringy" or "non-stringy". Thanks for giving us other ideas for flavoring this soup. I also think we poured in too much broth. Someone else suggested mint and I think that's a great idea. I liked how easy this soup was but will acknowledge that it was not full-flavored. Next time I won't strain mine either.

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    1. Thank you Mary for getting the post out quickly... I really didn't want the same thing that happened to me to happen to someone else...when will I ever realize how right The New York Times can be?

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  12. Sorry that this one was so eventful for you, and then so disappointing. I actually liked it quite a bit. Of course, I think part of my success is that I followed your recommendation on the P&Q post to start with less liquid. A quart was just fine for me. I also used the blender, but I usually do. I never seem to be able to get soups as smooth as I like it with an immersion blender. I hope the next recipe works out better for you.

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    1. Well, it is good to hear that my suggestion helped. Dorie really likes watery soup.

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  13. Sorry about the experience with the immersion blender:(. I am glad you are fine. Sorry the soup did not work out for you.

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    1. Thanks Geraldine,
      There are cautions to take with everything I guess.

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  14. I liked the soup quite a bit. Funny, but Kathy had an 'event' and she used the blender. This is just a perilous soup. Danger: Soup.

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    1. I started to get flashes of the pea soup flying in the Exorist...beware.

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  15. How awful for you, Diane! Now I'm glad that I forgot to get the lettuce. I added minced garlic in with the onion which gave this soup such a great flavor. I'm sorry that you didn't like it, but it sure looks good.

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  16. Diane, Your drama surly beats my drama with this soup! I had my blender explode as I turned it on to puree! Spewing out hot green liquid all over my kitchen and my hair!
    Sorry this soup wasn’t a hit for you. We did enjoy it…I found it fresh tasting!

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    1. Oh, Kathy,
      What a horror... yes, it was more dangerous what happened to me but at least I didn't have to take a shower.

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  17. That sounds like a terrible experience, Diane. Glad nothing worse happened.

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    1. At least I didn't have to was pea out of hair like poor Kathy.

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  18. Ouch, happy to hear that you're ok. I'm not sure why I opted for my standing blender over the immersion blender this time, but I'm certainly happy that I did. No idea that lettuce could blow out my immersion blender. Would think that it could stand up to a bit of salad greens.

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    1. I guess it's the stringiness... It just got wrapped around the blade and shorted it.

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  19. This was so scary to read and I appreciate that you shared with the rest of the Doristas ahead of time to save us from similar tragedies. I specifically used my blender instead of the immersion one. Phew. Apologize for the late comment- I had too much fun running around seeing the Barefoot Contessa and cooking and ended up with a miserable cold (but it was worth it). Stay healthy !!!

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    1. Seeing the Barefoot Contessa must have been a blast. I'm so glad I was able to get a warning out too. Yeah, it was a pretty scary experience. I bought a new immersion blender a really good quality Swiss one, but I'm still going to be careful.

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  20. Diane, lovely looking soup. Thanks for linking up. Cheers

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