Downton Abbey’s Split Pea Soup – Mrs. Patmore’s gourmet recipe for split pea and ham soup served at the castle.
Depending where you are in the world, you may be going through Downton Abbey, Sesason 5 or 6. The British series follows the lives of the fictional aristocratic Crawley family, Earl and Countess of Grantham, and their servants from 1912 to 1920-s.
Highclere Castle in north Hampshire plays the role of the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey.
Parallel plot follows characters in the kitchen, servants hall and servants quarters. Mrs Patmore, head cook suspicious of the new modern cooking equipment, prepares lavish feasts for residents and guests of the Downton Abbey. One of her recipes for Split Pea Soup comes from “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook – From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding; More than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs” by Emily Ansara Baines.
I adapted the recipe a bit since I didn’t have a ham bone available. This soup is made with green split peas.
“If Mrs. Patmore wanted to offer this classic soup with a bit of variety, she only needs to cook this soup with yellow split peas, as it would thus be called a “London particular” after the thick yellow smogs for which London was famous until the passing of the Clean Air Act in 1956.”
As the author says “Yet with these recipes you can re-create it and live one day as a lady, the next as a lady’s maid.”
- 2 cups cubed ham
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 1/3 cup onion chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken
- 6 cups water
- 3 cups dry split peas
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp dry thyme
- 2 leaves bay
- 2 cups carrots cubed
- 1 cup celery root cubed, or 2 cups celery stalks
- 1 1/2 cup potato cubed
In a large pot, fry ham in oil. Take out of the pot and set aside.
Add onions to the pot and saute until translucent.
Add vegetable or chicken stock and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Then add split peas, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for about 45 minutes or until split peas fall apart into mush.
Add carrots, celery, potatoes and ham and continue cooking until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.