Monday, January 25, 2010

Perfect Split Pea Soup

Whenever I suggest soup for dinner, it’s always the same request.  Split Pea.  It’s my family’s favorite soup.  My split pea soup is the best I’ve ever tasted, anywhere.  I don’t make this claim lightly and I don’t feel this way about many of the things I cook.  If you like split pea soup than you should try this recipe, and if you don’t like it, well, maybe this recipe will change your mind.
It’s very easy to make. (TC, even you can make this!)  All you need are some dry split peas, a couple of onions, a rib of celery, a handful of carrots, water and some herbs and spices.  I think the secret ingredient is the marjoram.  It just completes the taste.  This is a low cost, fat free meal, that is high in  protein.  Maybe I should call it recession soup..

Split pea soup, like many soups, is much better the next day.  It takes awhile for the peas to break down and mingle with the vegetables, herbs and spices.  If you don’t have a couple of hours to cook the soup, do what I do, and make it the night before you plan to eat it.  That way all you have to do is reheat it and maybe add a little water.  This recipe makes a big pot of chunky hearty soup, that will keep in your fridge for several days if necessary, but it never lasts that long around our house.

Serve this soup with a crusty multigrain bread and you’ve got the perfect winter dinner.
Split Pea Soup
Adapted from a recipe by Maureen Goldsmith - use organic ingredients whenever possible

2 cups green split peas
10 + cups water
6 carrots, washed and cut in rounds
2 yellow onions, diced
1 rib celery, chopped finely
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Put the peas and water In a large pot. (I use a 5.5 quart enameled cast iron) 
Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil, add the vegetables and stir.
Add the herbs, salt and pepper, and stir again.
When the soup comes to a boil, turn it down to low and simmer for at least two hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
You may want to add another cup or so of water depending on the consistency you desire.  We like it thick and chunky.
If you’re going to eat the soup the next day, let it cool down before covering and refrigerating it.
Reheat the next day over a low heat, adding a cup of water or more.

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