It’s far too early to be posting and planning for this, but we’re noticing a frenzy of google hits for Halloween food leading people here. (See our past posts.)
Instead to waiting until two weeks before Oct. 31 to post our fun food ideas, we’re going to post them now, hoping we can help inspire those of you searching for new recipes.
We’re not ones for Halloween gross-out food — we’ll leave that for the kiddies.
We like to think more Gothic gourmet at Halloween time. And we’re digging the Linda Blair/Exorcist pea soup vibe.
So we’re combining this Halloween theme with our love for all things ’80s.
That can only mean Magic Pan’s Potage St. Germain.
The famous creperie offered the rich, popular pea soup with a dollop of sour cream and a splash of sherry, served in a darling glass creuet.
While cheaters never prosper (Campbell’s split pea with bacon soup, condensed cream of chicken soup, sherry, sour cream), the recipe below is rather involved.
But it will make an elegant starter for a Halloween dinner party.
MAGIC PAN RESTAURANT POTAGE ST GERMAIN
1 (1 pound) ham bone
4 1/2 cups water
1 (13 ounce) can chicken broth
2 cups split peas
2/3 cup finely chopped leeks or green onions
1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup chopped ham, cooked
1/2 cup chopped chicken (cooked) (optional)
Place ham bone in large pot. Add water, chicken stock and peas and bring to boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
Sauté the onions, carrots and celery just until limp. Add them to the soup pot along with all the seasonings and continue to simmer until peas are very soft and mixture is thick – about 45 minutes. Remove ham bone.
Gradually stir in the milk and cream. Add ham and chicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Continuing on our theme of sherried pea soup, Potage Mongol was once thought to be the height of sophistication; instant gourmet. A back-of-the-can style crab bisque made of condensed split pea soup, condensed tomato soup, cream, crab meat and sherry, it’s quick and dirty.
Here’s a Best of Bridge version circa 1979:
1/4 lb. crab meat
3 Tbsp. sherry
1 – 10 oz. can tomato soup
1 – 10 oz. can green pea soup
1 cup light cream
salt and white pepper to taste
Flake crab and soak in sherry for 10 minutes. Blend undiluted soups and simmer until hot. Add cream and blend thoroughly. Add crab meat and seasonings. Heat but do not boil. Serves 4.
The New York Times had this more elaborate Craig Claiborne version below:
Potage mongol (Split-pea and tomato soup)
1 pound green or yellow split peas
1 pound lean pork bones, cut into two-inch pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups imported canned tomatoes
Salt, if desired
Freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, trimmed and scraped
1 cup heavy cream
1.Soak the peas or not according to package recommendations.
2.Put the bones in a kettle and cook over moderate heat until bones start to brown. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is wilted. Drain the beans and add them to the kettle.Add the water, bay leaf, thyme, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.Bring to the boil and let simmer one hour.
3.Meanwhile, cut the carrots into one-and-one-half-inch lengths.Cut the pieces lengthwise into very thin slices. Stack the slices and cut the slices into very thin julienne strips. Drop the strips into boiling water. Let boil two minutes. Drain thoroughly.
4.When the soup is cooked, pour it into the container of a food processor or electric blender and blend until smooth. Return it to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the cream, Tabasco sauce to taste and the carrots. Serve piping hot.