Friday, February 22, 2013

Cheating on Winter Pea Soup

A pea soup adventure with Dorie AND with the Barefoot Contessa...........

Per Tricia~
I have to admit that I am not normally a fan of pea soup.
 This week was different because we tried Dorie's and then
 at the last minute (Thursday night) I whipped up Ina Garten's
 version from her latest cookbook - "Foolproof". Why ?  
Because Nana and I had just had a Barefoot Contessa
 adventure- that's why !
if you knew how far back our seats were, you would really be impressed by these shots :)
We had planned to get signed copies at our local Williams-Sonoma 
last Fall, but were to be in France when the date came around.  
We figured we had a better offer so were not losing sleep - till France 
got cancelled. Hurricane Sandy ended up hitting on that date and I forgot all 
about  ever getting the cookbook.  Till this week when I went to look for it. 

I Googled Weds. morning, intending to buy the book, and learned she 
was doing an onstage book interview and book signing about two hours
 away with a local chef ----that NIGHT. I quickly secured tickets for us
 and the adventure began ! It was a very different experience than standing
in line at the store to get a copy signed and we had a great time.  As I peeked
 at the recipes I noted she had a pea soup one as well and thought it would
 be fun to compare. Basically her's included a second bag of peas in lieu of
 the romaine.  She also presents hers with a big piece of roasted Prosciutto
 on top. We tried a smoked Prosciutto and regular and while we enjoy
 this treat- next time we are going for bacon and definitely crumbling it.
Overall my guys enjoyed both soups.  
I had strained Dorie's pretty hard, per the instructions and it was
 MUCH thinner than the Ina version that I just put through the blender.
 This is personal taste only but our family liked the thicker version, which
 I can accomplish on Dorie's next time. My husband insisted that Dorie's 
was surprisingly sweet to him and he is convinced that it is due to the 
romaine. I'm not sure it wasn't the peas but was glad they were happy
 and  given the freezing temps we have had this week - I was just 
 happy to make any soup for FFWD.

Per Nana~
There isn't much to say about this recipe except that it lacked
 some flavor.  First, I prepared only half of the recipe and
 for that I am happy. I ended up with only two small bowls
 for us and no leftovers. 
I enjoyed all of the ingredients separately, but I thought it 
was a rather weak soup. After putting it through the Cuisinart,
 I eventually had to strain it. I turned out very smooth at this point 
and when we reheated it, I topped it with a dollop of sour cream.
 I added my Tabasco sauce to kick it up a notch. 
It's too bad because I truly love the cream soups we have
 been making, but this just didn't work for me.


  1. WHat a fun adventure :) Sorry the soup didn't cut it for you Nana… (I didn't strain my soup - didn't see that in the instructions) and it was lovely and thick...

  2. I thought that it was too thin as well. I used bacon dripping to saute the onion and I think that added a subtle ode to a ham bone...

  3. I added half a bag more peas, and arugula in the end. I really liked it, and so fast to make! Nice girls´ night out you too!

  4. I love impromptu adventures like that - I think they build some of the best memories! (How funny, I had put an "Ina" quote in my post this week - it must be her week)

    Nana - sorry the soup didn't work for you. I do agree that it needed a little flavor kick, but I loved how simple it was to prepare.

    Stay warm, ladies!

  5. What fun! I used Ina's prosciutto, too! Plus added some garlic to the soup for a boost of flavor :)

  6. I think seeing Barefoot Contessa is much more exciting than this soup.

  7. FUN! Ina used to annoy me (the whole "I'm fabulously wealthy, hosting dinner parties in the Hamptons" thing), but then I started actually USING her cookbooks, and she knows her stuff. She's totally won me over with the quality of the turnout.

    I'm with Nana on this soup. Boooo-riiiing.

  8. What a great idea to compare the soups! I am a FAN of Ina's and use many of her recipes!!

  9. I hope you will write more about the Q&A with the Barefoot Contessa. How exciting. I must say, Tricia, you really moved on securing those tickets, letting no grass grow under your feet. The pictures are impressive no matter where you took them. I also strained Dorie's pea soup and will not do that next time. I like a thicker soup too - more filling on a winter night. Sorry, Nana, that this was lacking in flavor for you. I agree that it needed a little something to get it some jazz but cannot figure out exactly what. The poor lettuce. Everyone is blaming the lettuce for no flavor!

  10. I have definitely made better creamy soups than this - I think Nana's right on in saying it lacks some flavor. Very cool on seeing Ina! And very interesting to see how the two soups compare. Nice work, ladies!

  11. Hi all, I love the story of your Ina adventure. Ina doesn't get airtime in Australia, so I am not familiar with her work personally, but a lot of bloggers swear by her books, so I reckon she must be good. Have a great weekend.

  12. I love hearing both your takes on each recipe! We thought this one was flavorful and delicious.

  13. Your Ina Garten adventure sounds fun! Not that I've made many, but every recipe I've made of hers is a keeper. I think the secret to this soup is less broth. I used just 1 quart, and with no straining, it was thick enough, but not heavy. Maybe not perfectly smooth, but tasty. Have a great weekend.

  14. How wonderful you got to see Ina Garten. The family enjoyed this recipe.

  15. Both of your soups look lovely! Sorry this was not a winner for you, Nana. We actually enjoyed this soup…it had a very fresh taste. I didn’t strain my soup, and it was still a tad thin. The second day it had thickened up quite a bit!
    Your book signing adventure sounds like so much fun! I love Ina! This book is on my list, since I own all of her books.
    My daughter is an Architect and works for the firm that just completed Ina’s barn/studio. All who worked on the project were invited to a taping of the show and cocktail party.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Ladies!

  16. Both soups look great! It sounds like you had quite an adventure going to see Ina. What fun. I was very surprised at how much I like her recipes. The television chefs seem to be more performance than cooking but her recipes always work for me!

  17. What a fabulous, spontaneous adventure! I just love those and how terrific that it involved the Barefoot Contessa! It sounds like you had a wonderful time and it great that you got to compare Dorie's and Ina's recipes. @Tricia - I forgot to buy the romaine lettuce, so didn't have it in the soup, but I think the sweetness does come from the peas because ours was on the sweet side, but it paired wonderfully with some sour cream and fried bits of ham. @Nana-I am sorry this was a disappoint. I threw in some minced garlic with the onion and it gave it such a nice flavor. I hope you both have a great weekend.

  18. So serendipitous! Sounds like you had a fabulous time. I love side by side comparisons of similar recipes, Tricia. And Nana, sorry that you weren't fond of this one.

  19. Sounds like a fun week. I've somehow gotten to this point of my life without a single Ina Garten book, even though friends of mine swear by them. One of these days I'll have to remedy that oversight.

  20. Tricia: what a fun post - your version of the pea soup looks just so delicious, it is bright green and I love the presentation in the pretty white soup bowl - and being able to attend Ina Garten´s book interview and book signing sounds terrific, great pictures!
    Nana: not nice when recipes do not quit turn out to be delicious but there are so many wonderful recipes lined up for March that I am sure that we will see nothing but success stories this month!
    I really enjoyed reading your wonderful post(s) this week!
    Have a good week!

  21. Fun! I missed the Ina book signing when she came here...can't remember why. Anyhow, both so ups looks good. i must confess to passing on t his one because it just seemed a tad dull, but maybe I will get around to trying it.

  22. Yay! I love Ina! Looks like it was a great talk!