Soup + Stew = Stewp! No explanation needed here. Simply put, an easy one-pot meal that can feature fish, poultry or meat and vegetables. It can either be a tomato based broth or a creamy one. You can serve stewp with crackers, crusty bread or a baguette and a basic salad completes the meal. Some people would tell you that stewp should be like a thickened soup because anything thicker is technically stew. Others think that its more like a thin, watered down stew.
Preparing stewp is so flexible, its hard to fail at it. Some recipes call for plenty of starchy vegetables, which will make the liquid thicken, others call for big chunks of meat or poultry and chunky vegetables to bulk out the soup stock.
I had never really heard the ‘stewp’ word used until the year we went to France. My sister, Loretta had accompanied Brion and I on this trip. The three of us have many wonderful memories, some of which I have spoken of in my blogs over the last few years. One morning while we were in Southern France, Loretta mentioned she wanted to pick up a few gifts for her son and daughters before it was time to return home. Not wanting to make a boring time for Brion, we had him drop us off at some small boutique shops. Of course, as shopping goes, it took quite a bit longer than we expected. In the mean time, Brion, having heard about something called stewp, decided to have an authentic bowl of it for lunch while waiting. When he explained it to us later, it sounded fabulous.
After we got back home, I tried to replicate the ‘taste of his memory’. Obviously that was not possible but I think this recipe is a good try.
In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat oil. Saute onion & garlic until translucent but not brown. Add next ELEVEN ingredients; stir together. Cover & simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add fish pieces, salt & pepper; stir gently, cover & cook for 5 minutes. Add scallops & clams, cover & cook for 5 minutes until scallops are opaque. Discard bay leaves. Serve.
Soups are for all occasions; from an elegant fruit soup at the start of a meal to a stick-to-your-ribs, homemade chowder or gumbo that is a meal in itself.
Homemade soups need need little attention, cooking by themselves. Most soups freeze well so they are an easy supper to pull from the freezer. At our house, we don’t eat a lot of ham but it’s nice once in a while. Even though there are just the two of us, I like to buy about 1.3 kg. This generally gives me enough for three different meals such as a glazed roast ham supper, pizza and a split pea/ham soup.
Split pea soup has been around for thousands of years. There are records of this soup being made and sold by street vendors in Greek and Roman societies.
This particular recipe has a delicious variety of healthful ingredients. Making it a day in advance allows the flavors to develop nicely. Of course, nothing rounds out a soup meal in winter better than a bread item. Warm, parmesan scones or bread sticks seem to be our favorites since they can be made and baked in about half an hour just before suppertime.
Ham & Split Pea Soup / Parmesan Scones
Ham & Split Pea Soup
In a large stockpot, combine water, split peas, barley, bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, & cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for about 45 minutes. Add onion & chicken broth. Cover & simmer until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves & stir in diced ham.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with a small piece of parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine flour, parmesan, baking powder & soda. With fingers, work in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in sour cream OR buttermilk until a soft dough forms; gently kneading until no longer sticky.
Place ball of dough on the parchment paper & press into a 5" (12.7 cm) circle about 3/4" (1.9 cm) thick. Score top to make 6 wedges. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Re-cut into wedges & serve.