Monday, December 31, 2012

Potage St. Germain

More commonly known as Split Pea Soup, expectations are higher with a name like Potage St. Germain, and boy does it deliverLoaded with many layers of flavor, this is not the same soup you'll find on your neighborhood diner's soup of the day menu.  This recipe is from the Magic Pan Restaurant that originated in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California.   In the mid 1960's Hungarian immigrants Lazlo and Paulett Fono opened their restaurant, which largely became known for it's crepes. 
Finding no ham bone in my freezer, I used a 7 oz package of diced prosciutto instead.  After setting aside 1 Cup of the diced meat, I gently sauteed the remainder to render the juices and followed the recipe from there.  Rather than both water and broth, I went with all chicken broth, and decreased the milk by 1 Cup.  This soup is a delicious start for any meal or can stand alone as a meal by itself.

For those times when I don't have chicken broth, Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base comes in handy.  Recommended by Americas Test Kitchen tasters, this 8 oz jar of concentrate makes 38 cups and has a shelf life of 18 months.

The Magic Pan Restaurant's Potage St Germain
1 (1 lb) ham bone
4 1/2 C water
1 (13 oz) can chicken broth
2 C split peas
2/3 C finely chopped leeks or green onions
1/3 C finely chopped carrots
1/3 C finely chopped celery
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thypme
bay leaf
1/2 tsp pepper  
2 1/2 C milk
1 C whipping cream
1 C chopped ham, cooked
1/2 C chopped chicken, cooked  

Place ham bone in large pot.  Add water, chicken stock and peas and bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
In another pan, saut√© the onions, carrots and celery just until limp.  Add them to the soup pot along with all the seasonings and continue to simmer until peas are very soft and mixture is thick - about 45 minutes.  Remove ham bone.  Gradually stir in the milk and cream. 

Add ham and chicken.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes.  The MAGIC PAN served the soup with a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of sherry and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
It is just as delicious when reheated the next day. 

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