Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pepper Pot Soup Day


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By Chef Diane

According to holidayinsites.com, During the Revolutionary war, the Continental army was camped at Valley Forge. The winter was cold and harsh. Conditions were deplorable. Food was often scarce. George Washington asked his army's chef to prepare a meal for the army that would both warm them, and boost their moral. The chef found scraps of tripe, small bits of meat and some peppercorn. He mixed this in with some other ingredients, and created Pepper Pot soup, also known as "Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup”. The hot, and somewhat spicy soup, was well received by the troops. It was called "the soup that won the war”.
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Originally tripe was a main ingredient of this soup, but today, you can substitute with chicken or beef. Here is a recipe from allrecipes.com for the traditional soup, try some today to warm you up.  It just might help you win a war too.

PEPPER POT SOUP

INGREDIENTS
1 pound honeycomb tripe or chicken or beef
5 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 leeks, chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 quarts beef stock
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, diced
4 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions
1.         Place the tripe or other meat that you have selected to use in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and turn off the heat. Allow the meat to cool a bit in the water, and then drain and rinse. Cut into 1/4 inch pieces.
2.         In a large heavy kettle, saute the bacon until clear. Add the onion, celery, leeks, parsley, and green peppers; saute until tender.
3.         Stir in beef stock, thyme, marjoram, cloves, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and black pepper. Bring the kettle to a boil, and turn down to a simmer. Cook, covered, until meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
4.         Add the diced potato and carrots, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
5.         Prepare the roux by stirring the flour into the melted butter or margarine, and cooking for a moment on the stove. When the soup is done to your liking, stir in the roux. Simmer, stirring all the while, until the soup thickens a bit. Correct the seasonings.

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