Town, as you know, the city in which we met is holding its annual Viking festival. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to make something Viking themed – OR – in the spirit of exploration, try something completely new to share. Wrap your fur stole around you and adjust your helmet because here we go!
I looked up what Vikings ate on a regular basis back when the longboats were the most convenient mode of travel. I have to say I wasn’t incredibly inspired when I read about stale bread and old stew. It took an attitude adjustment for me to see that like me, they used what was at hand, cooking low and slow and from scratch – they just weren’t privy to the selection that we have at our fingertips these days.
Hence my first exhibit: Ham and Split Pea Soup.
A variant of this recipe could very well have been eaten in Viking times because these resilient people cured their own meat and had root vegetables stored from summer to tide them over the long, bitterly cold winters.
First, pillage 2 strips of bacon from the neighbouring cold storage.
Slice it into small pieces and fry it until it looks like this:
Add 1 diced yellow onion and 4 chopped cloves of garlic to the pan and let them become translucent.
Heft your best cauldron out and place it over the fire. Transfer the bacon, onion and garlic into it along with 100 grams of smoked ham.
Now 1 cup of quartered baby potatoes, 4 peeled and sliced carrots and 1 cup of split peas will join the throng. The other cup of split peas will follow in 40 minutes -this way, some become the body of the soup while others are easily seen – it’s a presentation thing. 🙂
All that remains is 8 cups of chicken stock and 2 bay leaves for flavour.
Stoke the fire so that the soup comes to a raging boil. Let the soup come back to a simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes.
This recipe makes 5 thick and hearty servings.
Nutrition (per serving – approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- Calories: 410
- Fat: 6.4 g
- Carbs: 58.9 g
- Protein: 31.8 g
I rarely mention dietary fibre, but in this case, it’s a hefty 21.9 grams! If that doesn’t get you ready for battle, nothing will!