Soup, Spreads, and Tortilla

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Very enterprising Sunday. I made a bowl of Split Pea Soup, Tortilla de patatas, and 2 quick appetizers to go along with a French baguette. Here are the details. Split Pea Soup: it's been so long since I made split pea soup (sad) that I completely forget the recipe I used to follow. Did I use potatoes or not? Did I add cumin?? These questions tormented me. This time around, I used 2 very small yellow onions, diced, 2 carrots, peeled and sliced, 2 stalks of celery, sliced, 3 cloves garlic, and 1/2 bag of split peas. I added about 6 cups of water. I did add about 1/2 Tb of cumin, but this turned the soup an unpleasant color when combined with the green of the split peas. I remembered that I liked my split pea soup to have a lot of garlic and black pepper. Of course I added an overwhelming amount of salt. The method was to first saute the veggies (I used too much oil this time) and then add the water and split peas directly to the mix. I cooked about 40-50 minutes, simmering. It looked quite horrible, thanks cumin! But tasted fine. To solve the problem, I removed the brand new immersion blender from the box and attacked it! This was very exciting, perhaps the highlight of the whole affair. It worked like a dream, was quick to clean up, and I didn't have to perform the odious move of the soup to the blender. Success!

The tortilla de patatas (recipe listed elsewhere on the site) came out ok, but I fear I put in too many potatoes and not enough salt. I like to taste the egg a bit more. Too much potato and the tortilla tastes bland, in my opinion. I did think of poor Claire's mishap when she attempted to flip the tortilla, so I did this extra carefully over the cutting board. Here's also a crucial tip: don't forget to unload the final tortilla onto a paper lined with a paper towel to absorb some of the copious olive oil you used to cook the thing.

Finally, I made a couple of quick appetizers. The first is an olivada composed of kalamata olives, fresh basil, garlic, and fresh lemon juice roughly pureed (by pulsing) in my food processor. Don't skimp on the basil. This appetizer is highly addictive when served over fresh bread.

The other appetizer was a dressed-up goat cheese. I took a small log and mashed it up with

with a good deal of honey (2-3 Tb? I just squeezed), chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and a little salt. Very sweet and tempting, a nice contrast to the olivada.

Making all this food and cleaning the mess took forever. Let’s just say that after I ate, I tried to read but instead fell asleep and didn’t wake up until it was dark out.

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