Split pea soup is the greatest. ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

28 September 2011

Split pea soup is the greatest.

Split pea soup with green onionHey, it's fall! Let's eat ALL THE SOUP.

Split peas are an especially great legume to have on hand for soup since they take comparatively little time to cook. Instead of giving them an overnight soak or a quick spin in the pressure cooker, you can just stick them into some hot tap water. In barely an hour, your peas are ready for soup application. Lentils serve the same swift purpose.

Usually I add some greens to bowls of this soup, or wilt them in during the last few minutes of cooking; this time, I went with a more basic method, simply adding peas and broth to a spicy mirepoix.

Notice that this is incidentally vegan. If you want meat instead, you can use some chopped bacon instead of the olive oil.

Split pea soup

dried split peas
olive oil
hot pepper
salt, pepper, bay leaf, sage, marjoram, thyme
veg broth
liquid smoke
fresh parsley
green onion

First, comb through your dried split peas to remove any spontaneous rocks. Soak the clean peas in hot tap water for about an hour. You can simmer them separately if you want to cut the cooking time down even more.

Warm some olive oil in a large soup pot. If you happen to want meat in your soup, you can dice a couple pieces of bacon and render the fat down instead.

Chop up an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, and a jalapeƱo or other hot pepper. Sauté them in the oil while you chop a carrot and a couple sticks of celery. Add a bay leaf, a couple shakes each of marjoram, sage, and thyme, and some salt and pepper. When the onion is translucent and everything smells fantastic, it's time to add your drained split peas and a bunch of vegetable broth. My broth was frozen, so I let it melt right in the pot, but liquid broth obviously works just as well, if not better.

Cover your pot, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to simmer. From here, the time required varies based on the age of your peas. My peas took only about ten minutes to break down completely, but your mileage may vary.

When your peas are cooked, take your pot off the heat; it's time to blend. Remove the bay leaf and attack the soup with an immersion blender. Now take a look at your soup's texture. If it's too thick, add some more broth or water and stir it through; if it's too thin, put it back on the burner to cook down a bit.

When your soup is at your desired texture, season carefully with liquid smoke. (You won't need this if you used bacon.) This stuff is super strong, so you won't need very much; I started out with four drops, then increased to 6 or 7 total for the entire 4-serving pot. Proceed with caution.

After correcting any other seasonings, your soup is done! Scatter parsley and green onion over your bowl, and eat it all with lots of toast or biscuits. We had the very end of a block of smoked gouda as well.


Jes said...

Mmm, the hot pepper sounds like a nice addition. Can't wait to make my first batch of the fall/winter (maybe when it's a wee bit chillier though...)

Eileen said...

I know what you mean re waiting for cold, but I was just so excited when the high fell below 70F (oh, very well, it was 68) and it wasn't even October yet!

Of course the high today was 91.