Saturday, March 09, 2013

Split Pea Soup

Yesterday was a cloudy, blustery and rainy day, so I decided what I really wanted was fresh, home made Split Pea Soup.

Here is my recipe and technique:

Split pea soup Ingredients list:

1 lb split green peas
1 small onion
2 medium sized carrots
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 Bay leaves
1 carton organic, low-sodium* chicken broth
1 carton organic low sodium* vegetable broth
2 C water
1 C diced ham
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation of the mirepoix soup base:

Dice** the onion and celery and 1/2 of a carrot into small a small dice.  (See notes for links to instruction videos if you're a beginning cook.)

Take a carrot and cut in half and using the widest, fattest part of the carrot dice finely.  This should yield about 1/4 cup or slightly more.

Grate 1 carrot using the shred side of a grater or your food processor.  (I snack on the parts of the carrot that I've trimmed off or save & freeze for making a vegetable stock later on.)

Peel the garlic and mince finely. 

Put 3-4 Tbsp of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a skillet and heat.

Add the diced carrots first and sautee lightly for about two minutes then add the celery, shredded carrots, onion and garlic.  Sautee for another 3-5 minutes over a low heat, stirring well until the onion and garlic has become fully translucent.

While the veggies are sauteeing, add broth and water to a stockpot and put on a medium heat.  Stir in 1 lb of split peas.  Raise the heat and bring to a rolling boil.  Stir in the sauteed mirepoix veggies and reduce the heat to a simmer. 

Add the bay leaves, marjoram, ground white pepper and diced ham to the soup. And stir.  At this point the soup will look like the top photo.  Cover pot with lid and simmer.

Continue to cook on a low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring periodically until the split peas and shredded carrots have broken down fully.  The diced carrots add a little bit of color as you see in the bottom photo.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.

*There is no added salt in this recipe.  The sodium in the low-sodium broth as well as the ham seem to provide more than enough salt for this soup on their own.

**Dicing techniques for carrot, celery and onion found on the web:

To save on clean up, I use one large bowl for my diced and shredded veggies, roughly dividing them so I can still add them to my skillet one at a time for the initial sauteeing.

For a vegetarian version of this soup, switch out the chicken broth for more vegetable broth and eliminate the ham.

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