Split Pea Soup

I’ve been dreaming of soup the last few days. It has been rainy, cold and generally blustery and when the weather turns this way, all I want to do is snuggle up under a blanket and eat comfort food.

Yesterday, one of the coldest days of the summer, we spent the morning outside. Andrew signed up to do a team triathlon sprint, and his start time was scheduled for 10:15am. We got up at 7, looked out the window, and layered up with all the waterproof clothing we could find.

Because all the roads were closed around the triathlon site, we walked down from a friend’s place (4 km each way…I didn’t know I was signed up to do 8 km…). By the time we got there we were soaked but Andrew was excited.

Triathlon

Here is how cold it was: They cancelled the swim. No one allowed in the water…too cold. Welcome to Alberta.

So it turned into a Duathlon. Andrew ran the last leg of the race and got to cross the finish line like a real champ. It was fun to watch…but man was it cold!

Triathlon

I still don’t feel like I have warmed up.

So I decided to make soup. That will help me warm up right? Plus we need leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Win-win.

This is the easiest soup to make and it is so delicious. You literally throw everything in and let it bubble away.

I started by chopping up 1/2 an onion, 3 carrots and 3 stalks of celery and adding it to the slow cooker.

Split pea soup

Next I added in 1 cup of dried split peas and 1 cup of lentils (whatever color you have on hand).

Split pea soup

Then 1/2 teaspoon each of dried marjoram, dried basil, salt and pepper.

I poured 3 cups of water and 3 cups chicken broth over the lentils and veggies.

Split pea soup

Finally I put the ham steak on top.

Split pea soup

It needs to cook on low for 7-8 hours.

At the end of cooking, I take out the ham steak and get rid of the little bone. I shred up the ham and put it back in the soup.

We like to eat our split pea soup with a little bit of mustard on top.

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The Verdict- So delicious…and relatively healthy! This is the perfect rainy day soup.

Pork Wellington

During writing today, one of the little girls in my class kept asking me questions.

“Mrs. Skinner, what do you like to do the most?”

“Mrs. Skinner, do you live in a house or an apartment?”

“Mrs. Skinner, do you have any kids?”

The questions just kept coming and coming. I didn’t think much of it as I was preoccupied working with other students.

At the end of our block she came to me beaming.

“I wrote a story about you Mrs. Skinner”

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If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I am not sure what will…

Tonight’s dinner was a bit daunting. We love watching Alton Brown on Good Eats but I am seriously intimidated by most of the recipes on there. Though they look amazing, they are time consuming (though I am sure well worth the time) and seem a little out of my cooking league. But when we saw the episode showing how to make pork Wellington, Andrew just turned to me and said “Can we make that?”

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How hard can it be? Right? Tell me it can’t be that hard…

I started with our side dish since that was the most familiar to me. I diced up some potatoes and put them in foil packs with butter and rosemary salt to bake while the Wellington was being prepared and cooking. I popped those in and just let them go hoping they would be cooked when everything else was done.

Pork Wellington

Next, on to the Wellington.

I prepared the egg wash and put it aside.

Pork Wellington

I measured out a piece of parchment paper slightly longer than the pork tenderloin and laid out all the pieces of prosciutto in an overlapping pattern just slightly longer and about twice as wide as my pork tenderloin.

Pork Wellington

I put another piece of parchment paper over top and gave it a roll out with my rolling pin. This helps to lace the prosciutto together and to thin it out a little more. Then I sprinkled it with salt, pepper and dried thyme.

Pork Wellington

I place my tenderloin (cut down the middle and flipped so it is more even for cooking) in the middle of the prosciutto and added some dried cranberries down the middle. (no dried apple rings at Superstore and as much as I would have LOVED to go to Bulk Barn, I just didn’t get there)

Pork Wellington

I rolled the prosciutto around the tenderloin and moved on to the part of the recipe that scared me the most…the puff pastry.

I removed the pastry from the fridge where it had been thawing since last night. I floured my counter and rolled it out into a large rectangle. I spread on a thin layer of mustard down the middle of the pastry.

Pork Wellington

I added the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin to the middle of the pastry and rolled it up, using the egg wash to seal the edge. I flipped the whole thing over so the seam was on the bottom and pinched closed the ends. I moved it to a parchment lined cookie sheet and gave the whole thing a brush with the egg wash.

I popped it in at 400 degrees in the top third of the oven…set the timer for 30 minutes (looking for an internal temperature of 140 degrees) and prayed everything would work out.

Pork Wellington

I let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes before I cut into it.

Pork Wellington

 

 

The Verdict- This was very flavorful….but it was a lot of work and I am not sure my puff pastry turned out the way it was supposed it. No matter what, Andrew was happy and it was pretty tasty. Would I make this again? I do have a pork tenderloin in the freezer and one more roll of puff pastry…so I may give it another go. But I don’t know if I would add this to the meal plan if I didn’t already have most of the ingredients sitting around.