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Split Pea and Bacon Soup

All over Scotland,  indeed wherever Scots are gathered world-wide, preparations are being made to celebrate the birth of our National Bard, Robert Burns, on 25 January.  Burns did all in his power to remind Scots, in the dark days following the Union of 1707, that they were Scots and that Scotland is a nation in her own right.

       "Alas, have I often said to myself, what are all the boasted advantages which my country reaps from the Union that can counter-balance the annihilation of her independence and even her very name."

                                                                                                     - letter to Mrs Dunlop 10 April 1790

Over the next few weeks this section of The Flag will play its part in celebrating the poet's anniversary.  But just as the enjoyment of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties doesn't have to be restricted to a certain day in January, Burns can be enjoyed all year round and not just on the one day.  You don't even have to go to a Burns Supper to pay tribute to the Bard - you can celebrate at home.  This week's recipe is for a soup - Split Pea and Bacon Soup -  which is the perfect accompaniment to the traditional Haggis fare.

The recipe was supplied by Gladys Wright to a cook-book 'So Let The Lord Be Thanket' - published by the St Andrew's Church of Scotland Women's Guild, Newcastle, England in 1992.  The late Gladys, mother of The Flag's Peter D Wright, passed the recipe to her daughter Sheilah, who was the Guild President at the time.  The introduction to the recipe read - "Gladys Wright, Sheilah Fletcher's mother, is an expert at making soup.  Here is one of her favourites."

Split Pea and Bacon Soup

Ingredients:  2oz bacon, cut into small pieces;  one onion;  2 carrots;  piece of turnip;  1oz butter;  4oz yellow split peas; 1 1/5 pints of stock;  pepper;  parsley to garnish

Method: Melt butter, add bacon, onion, carrot, turnip and fry for a few minutes.  Add split peas and stock.  Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.  Cool, then puree soup in blender.  Return to pan, season with pepper and salt if required.  Garnish with parsley.  Serves four.

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