Mrs. Patmore's London Particular ~ Yellow Split Pea Soup ~ from The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook

For my birthday, my hubby gave me a copy of ~ The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook.  I love this cookbook!  It's a fun read and the recipes all sound so tempting.  Even though it's almost the middle of May, it's still rather cold, gray and dreary around here much of the time, so I decided to try making a warming soup to make our day a little more comforting.  (besides, soon enough it will be 100+ degrees outside, so might as well make some soup while I can :)  Mrs. Patmore's London Particular (Yellow Split Pea Soup) recipe caught my eye ~ and I already had all the ingredients to make I did.
These are some of the tweaks I made to the original recipe...  I used some leftover ham that was in the freezer instead of boiling a ham hock; I just used a little olive oil to saute the onions in (instead of the 1/2 cup of butter the recipe calls for); I added chopped celery to the soup while cooking; I didn't puree the soup, just smashed it with the potato masher ~ because we like our split pea soup more on the 'rustic side' (and pureeing makes it look too much like baby food for our liking); AND I used yellow split peas instead of the green split peas called for.  "Why?" you might ask...

Well, calling for green split peas as the main ingredient had me scratching my head, because later in the book, when they give the recipe for a traditional green split  pea soup, they mention using yellow split peas if you want to make a version called ~ London Particular (yellow ~ that's what makes it L.P.)  I have no idea why they don't call for yellow split peas in this recipe of Mrs. Patmore's...I'm blaming the cookbook's copy editors.  It's a sloppy (or should I say soupy :) error.  Those copy editors must not be real foodies (or Downton Abbey fans) who actually read the witty banter before and after the recipes in this cookbok.  It's those little details that can really make or break a recipe.  In this case not taste wise ~ but color wise.  Read the little story before this recipe and you'll see why Matthew would probably be fond of it.  (I think I'd be good at a cookbook copy editing job...  Where do I sign up?  teehee)   

Give the soup a try and you'll see why everyone at Downton Abbey thinks Mrs. Patmore is such an excellent cook!  ;)

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