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Ella Minnow Pea Soup


Remember in school, probably when you were quite small, learning about Nevin Nollop? Me either. But you probably remember learning his famous alphabetical phrase, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” In Mark Dunn’s charming novel “Ella Minnow Pea”, that phrase is near-worshipped by the citizens of Nollopia. Set on a fictional island off the coast of South Carolina, the story follows the eponymous Ella in her alphabetical adventures. The island’s inhabitants are quite infatuated with their single famous citizen- they have a gigantic statue inscribed with his phrase in the town square of the capital city. When the glue holding the letters on begins to fail, dropping one letter after another from the phrase, the High Council decrees they also be deleted from the islanders’ lexicon. The letters disappear from the novel as well. It’s sweet and silly, and a clever poke at what happens when radicals seize power and people stand by idly. So in homage, here is an alphabet soup, filled with chickpeas and green peas and all the glorious letters:

Ella Minnow Pea Soup

4 cups (1 box) vegetable broth
1 chopped stalk celery
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup dried chickpeas
2 Tb tomato paste
1 c frozen green peas
1 c alphabet pasta

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add peas and pasta, bring back to a simmer, and cook til pasta is tender.

Serve with bread, and while speaking the longest words you know!


Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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