Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yellow Split Pea Soup

More paradigm smashing! Split pea soup (green) has been a staple of my life since childhood. So for years I've been using a yellow split pea recipe and substituting green split peas. This time, because of the CSA yellow split peas, I used them instead, and honestly, if you close your eyes you can't tell the difference from green.

The original recipe called for a smattering of green peas (frozen ones, thawed and cooked! Bleah!) to be strewn across the top of the soup. Completely superfluous! This soup is complete and wonderful with no garnish whatsoever.

I believe I have perfected this soup, but of course you will probably want to play around with it. Use caution. It is really, really good.
Adapted from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow CSA onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken)
2 cups water (wait to see if you really need this)
1-3/4 cups dried yellow CSA split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon minced fresh summer savory, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt (wait to see if you need this; your broth might be salty enough)
A pinch or two of crushed red pepper

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot, and saute about 10 minutes. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the water and salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring now and then, until the peas are soft and are thickening the soup. Add some water if the peas absorb all the stock before softening. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Remove bay leaf and serve the soup with something grainy, like corn tortillas, cornbread, or whole wheat flatbread, and put some raw veggies on the side, or a green salad.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Extra hints:
I always triple this recipe, using my 9-quart Dutch oven. This soup freezes wonderfully, and what a treat to pull it out of the freezer after a busy day and heat it up for dinner.

Sometimes I hang a Lapsang Souchong teabag over the side of the pot for about 10 minutes during the simmering phase. This gives the soup a mysterious, smoky flavor that will have people searching around in their soup for the ham that isn't there.

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