Friday, January 21, 2011

My favorite soup is green

Did you know that soup swap day is January 22? Neither did I.

Did you know that I love all food that is green, I actually love my green fruits and vegetables.  Not so into green beer nor green eggs even if it is served with ham. Green cocktails give me goosebumps and a sugar headache.

Soup swap day and green things..... come on Lady Stiles! Spill the beans! Or should I say peas.....

I adore split pea soup. I have been known to jump up and down while twirling in circles if some one wants to share it with me. The warm thick creamy texture warms me from the inside out, melting part of me. Mushy peas, a British traditional food will make me weak in the knees and seem that I have a hollow leg in which I can store vast quantities of marrowfat peas.

Since I am gushing over one of the most unphotogenic foods imaginable, I want you to know that I prefer a vegetable base, loaded with onions, carrots, and celery.  Just wanted to be clear. I am weird, I know how well ham pairs with split peas, I am just telling you that it is delish one each accord. I added a smoked salt for the smokey flavor that is imparted by the omitted smoked ham hock. I also know from experience that a dark beer adds the depth that often meat adds. Beer = Sip sip pour.

Now the magic and the reason this soup will keep even the devout meat eaters occupied. FRESH PEAS - more like frozen peas. With about 10 minutes left in the cooking process I add frozen (fresh?) shelled peas. Let the soup come back up to a warm temperature and then ladle bowls full, top with cream, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper and if I am feeling indulgent, bacon bits. The fresh peas add texture, pop between the teeth and a fresh dimension to the dried peas.

Considered yourself armed for the imminent soup swap day. You have a very unique and tasty soup to swap or stow away in your freezer for those weeknights that cooking seems to be of the same magnitude as saving the world. 

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Recipe

The fresh peas really make this soup shine with out a layer of pig grease so don't get all traditional on me forget to toss them in. You can use a vegetable stock if you like in place of the water, I don't care use whatever broth you have on hand or love. I've mentioned before that I like to use a beer as well, I use a dark beer like Guniss that has a wee bit of flavor and body - it makes a nice, light but flavorful broth.

 Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped 
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water, broth or a combination of the two to reach desired amount
2 cups frozen peas
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)
a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle
Add olive oil to a soup pot over med-high heat.

Stir in onions, carrots, celery and salt and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the split peas and water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through.

You could puree the soup, in a blender, at this point which would create great contrast of creamy peas to fresh peas.

Add the fresh peas and continue to cook for 10 additional minutes.

If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.

Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.

Split Peas on Foodista

4 comments:

  1. That soup looks amazing. Great photography too Michelle and a very nice clean, crisp layout for your blog.

    you live in Bellingham? my wife adn I drove through there several years ago and absolutely loved it. What a wonderful beautiful place you live in indeed.

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  2. Thanks! The blog is ever developing and like most things a work in progress. I like it more these days.

    Bellingham is a very special place. It has sucked me in and it is hard to let go of!

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  3. I'm sad I missed soup swap day, but glad I at least caught up and now have your recipe! Your photos do manager to make split pea look delicious!

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  4. yummmmmmm!!! Looks wonderful! I love split pea soup but I've never made it before with celery in it. I'll bet it's great though! :)

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