Split-Pea Soup

Split-pea soup with crispy onions

Split-pea soup with crispy onions

Unfortunately for me, growing up I never knew a good pea soup, let alone one outside of the school cafeteria. My mom didn’t make pureed soups from scratch often, so for me the words “Split-Pea Soup” conjured up images of gelatinous vats of over-salted green-gray mush, not unlike in the Exorcist, that would send me running from the cafeteria when appearing on the menu.

So, it’s not a surprise that a couple of weeks ago when Sarah expressed an interest in making a batch after picking up some dried split-peas at the grocery, I needed a little convincing before I was ready to revisit that childhood memory. I’m sure that not all of you grew up detesting pea soup, but after one taste of Sarah’s simple and satisfyingly creamy concoction topped with crunches of bacon and sweetened slightly by carrots, I dropped all previous stereotypes of the heartily-satiating dish. Highly recommended for cold, wintry nights alongside a chewy piece of sourdough.

Recipe: Sarah’s Split-Pea Soup

Makes 4-6 hearty servings (for an entire single dish meal)

  • 1 lb dried split peas
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow/white onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart your broth of choice
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the roughly chopped vegetables with the olive oil in your soup pot.
  2. Rinse the split peas and make sure there isn’t any debris.
  3. When the onions are translucent, add the peas, seasonings and liquids to the pot. Stir and cover. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Taste the peas to check for firmness. When the peas are soft (they may need 15-30 more minutes at this point), turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaf. If using an immersion blender, go ahead and puree the soup right in the soup pot until everything comes through smoothly. If using an upright(?) blender, allow the soup to cool a bit to make the process a bit safer.
  5. Taste and add liquid (if too thick), salt and pepper to taste. The soup should be velvety and thick enough to coat a spoon.

Serve with a side of crusty sourdough bread, or garnished with some fresh ground black pepper, crispy fried onions, croutons, or even crumbled bacon.

One year ago: Lotus Root Salad

2 responses to “Split-Pea Soup”

  1. Looks good! I add chopped ham if I have some in the freezer or make it with a ham bone sometimes. Both my kids like split pea soup so no bad childhood memories here! My makes one with ginger in it.

  2. I never would have thought to add ginger to split-peas. That sounds great, I really love ginger. Ham goes well with this soup, as does bacon. Then again, sometimes it’s nice to be able to whip up something hearty and vegetarian too.

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