In Harmony, a public library soup cook-off brings people together
Last week, seven local soup makers toted their slow cookers to our town's Harmony Library for the first-ever Soup Cook-Off. Despite the threat of snow, a large crowd turned out to taste the soups and vote for their favorite soup. I was one of the judges for the event, and I loved tasting each of the soups. The grand prize winning soup, made by a high school student (isn't that great?), Pepere's Pea Soup was the judges' favorite. It's a traditional comfort-food soup, a recipe passed down from grandfather to granddaughter, perfect for the slow cooker. I'll share the winner of the People's Choice Award here on Soup Chick in a couple of weeks.
Pepere's pea soup
1 16-oz bag whole yellow peas (not split)
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
1 ham bone (plus extra pieces of ham, if any)
4-6 cups water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
Dash each of fresh black pepper and celery seed
Pour peas in a slow cooker and cover with 2-3 cups water. Cover the cooker, and allow the peas to soak overnight.
In the morning, cut the onion, celery, garlic and carrots into chunks. Place in a food processor and chop into very small pieces. Put the vegetables in the slow cooker over the soaked peas. Add the ham bone (and pieces of ham). Pour in additional water until all is covered, making sure to leave approximately 2 inches to the top of the pot (so it doesn't boil over).
Add the bouillon cubes, pepper and celery seed.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
Remove the ham bone (be aware that during the cooking, pieces of bone could have fallen off the large bone).
Serve hot, with crusty bread.