Sunday, 28 August 2011

Dried Peas

Sometimes I happen upon a food item that seems to be from a bygone age, which I just have to try. Before freezing became the main way of preserving peas, dried peas were the way to get them out-of-season. I cooked up Leo Dried Peas with steeping tablet (sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and acid sodium pyrophosphate) and pea net.

The dried peas are poured into a bowl. The steeping tablet is unwrapped and added. Boiling water is poured over the peas and they are left for at least 12 hours. They expand considerably, so periodically check that they are still covered by the water. The steeping water is ditched and the peas are thoroughly washed in fresh water. The peas are then put into the supplied gauze bag and bought to the boil in a pan of water and simmered for 20-30 minutes.

They are fairly tasteless compared to fresh or frozen peas, even with the serving suggestion of a knob of butter. I made them into a soup with chicken stock and some potato and chopped ham. I cooked them for a further hour or so in the stock and liquidized the mixture. With the addition of some mint, the soup was well received.

I guess dried peas are useful if you are living somewhere without a freezer, but I’ll be sticking to frozen peas in the future. Apparently, they got into the cupboard because they were brought for a children’s party game (of the remove sweets silently from a tin filled with dried peas/pasta variety).

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