Baked Cottage Soup
Published by Warner Books
For this gently delicious soup I adapted a recipe from The Encyclopedia of Practical Cookery, a six-volume treasure published in England in the late nineteenth century which also became popular in the United States. The advantages of baking soup in the oven are a more intense flavor, little fuss, and less reduction of the liquid so it does not need replenishing. It was probably also economical in the days when wood- or coal-fired stoves burned constantly for warmth. The result is a sheer, restorative near-broth, only slightly thickened by the split peas, and with a very fresh vegetable and chicken flavor.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe Coursehot appetizer
Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, halal, healthy, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturelight, savory
Type of Dishchicken soup
- A 4- to 5-quart covered crock or bean pot.
- One 3½- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 parts, with neck and all giblets except liver
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
- 2 large celery stalks, sliced
- 2 cups green split peas, washed and picked over
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 to 10 crushed black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon dried leaf thyme, or 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 quarts cold water
- Chopped fresh parsley
- 8 small oval slices of French bread, or 1½ cups croutons, browned
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place chicken and giblets in the crock, then top with onions, carrots, celery, and split peas. Add salt, peppercorns, thyme, and water. Cover and bake for about 3 hours or until chicken and vegetables virtually disintegrate.
Strain into a clean saucepan, rubbing through as much of the peas and vegetables as possible, but eliminating the giblets and shreds of chicken that by this time should be unpleasantly matted and flavorless. It may be necessary to pour strained soup back over the solids in the sieve to extract all the pea and vegetable puree. Skim off fat, of which there should be very little, reheat, and adjust seasonings.
Ladle soup into warm bowls, top with parsley, and pass croutons or bread slices.
This soup can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
1995 by Mimi Sheraton