Week 3 - Peas Soope

It’s been a crazy busy week here at the Colony. Our visitor season is in full swing, the archaeologists are making some amazing discoveries (Did you see the 17th century deposit on Facebook this morning? OMG!!!) and we just clued up a fantastic two day photo documentation workshop with the Canadian Conservation Institute (thanks Mylene and Germain!). Which is my excuse for the late posting of this week’s recipe. And as an apology, we’ll be extending this week’s deadline to midnight, Wednesday, August 2. That gives you plenty of time to try this week’s dish - Peas Soope.

Before you start rolling your eyes, let me tell you ... this is not your mama’s pea soup. Yes, it has peas and cured pork, but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. First off, it’s not clear whether the recipe calls for fresh or dried peas. Then there are all those greens. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This week’s recipe comes from The Receipt Book of Lady Anne Blencowe and goes like this:

Take about two quarts of peas and boil them down until they are thick; then put to them a leeke and a little slice of bacon and a little bunch of sweet herbs and let them boil down until they are broke. Then work them with ye back of a ladle thro a corse hair sieve; then take about three pints of your peas and mix with about three quarts of very strong broth and work them very well together. Then set them over a stove and let them boil very easily. Then as for your herbs, take out the quantity of a gallon of soope; take a large handful of spinage and one third of sorrel and one cabbage, lettice and a little chervil and cresses and a head or two of siliry and indive and ye hear of savoy and a little mint, but mince your mint very small if it be green, but if it be dry, then drie it before ye fire to powder and sift it through a sieve, and mince ye herbs with one leeke very small and put them into a brass dish or saspan with half a pound of butter and let ym stove until they begin to be tender. Then put to them a quart of good gravy or strong broth, but gravy is best, and when ye have mix’t it well then putt into ye pott to ye peas and a little beaten cloves and mace. So let it stove about half an hour, then have a French roll, either dry’d in an oven or toasted by ye fire, in thich slices and then season ye soope to your palate and so serve it up. If you please, you may put forced meat balls into it or any other things as pallates and sweetbreads or combs.
                    Lady Anne Blencowe (1656 - 1718)

                    Lady Anne Blencowe (1656 - 1718)

In the Colony’s kitchen, Lori and Krista decided on dried split peas and have experimented with multiple combinations of greens. Yesterday, I tasted a version with spinach, cabbage, lettuce, apple mint, lovage and wild sorrel. It was delicious!

Feel free to make this dish your own. And remember, post a pic of your masterpiece (or epic fail!) to the Colony’s Facebook page to be automatically eligible for both this week’s prize AND our grand prize. Good luck!