Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Curried Split Pea Spinach Soup

It's soup season. I love a good hearty soup that will last for a few days to continue to warm up and enjoy. It has been un-seasonal cold this October in Michigan. Well, at least I think so. It seems like one day it was 70 degrees and then the next was 30 degrees. It's cold! So hot soup it is. It's nice and easy too. Life has gotten very busy with the fall schedule and life moving so is nice to slow down to a big bowl of some steamin' goodness. Today, I tried a new ingredient... yellow split peas. It is best if you soak these overnight to release the phytic acid and break them down so they are easier to digest. Soaking is a great thing to get in a habit of doing especially if you want to repair or build-up your digestive track. Soak and then rinse when you are ready to use the next day. Try them... they are full of hearty flavor and add great nutrients to a simple vegetable soup. If you have more questions on how to soak or what to soak... let me know and we can talk more in detail about that. Let's get to cookin'...

Curried Split-Pea and Spinach Soup Recipe:
1 large onion chopped and diced
2 TB of olive oil, or ghee (I used a little of both)
4 chopped cloves of garlic
2 heaping cups of chopped carrots
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups pure water
1 1/4 cup of pre-soaked yellow spit-peas
1/4 cup of small gluten-free pasta of choice
3 cups of fresh finely chopped spinach
1 ts. of ground turmeric
1 ts. of ground ginger
1 ts. of ground coriander
1 ts. of curry powder
1 ts. of ground cumin
1/2 ts. of ground nutmeg
a few dashes of of cayenne pepper
sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Chop the large onion is small pieces and saute in a large 5 qt. pot with some olive oil and ghee. After a few minutes toss in the chopped garlic and let that cook for a minute and then pour in the broth and the water. Stir around a bit and then add the soaked split peas. I soak them in pure water overnight, or for 8 hours and rinse them thoroughly after soaking. So dump the peas in, along with all the ground spices and let them cook by themselves from 50 minutes to 1 hour. Until the peas have broken down and made the broth thicker. Then add the carrots, and gluten-free pasta and let cook for another 15 minutes or so. Add in the spinach last with some added salt and pepper and then serve warm.

I love the smell of this soup, probably because I love Indian food. It fills your lungs with aroma and your kitchen with warmth. Is there a better way to bring warmth and cheer to a gloomy fall day?! This soup is a meal by itself, or you could serve with a raw salad with a light dressing and maybe some gluten-free cornbread on the side with an autumn flair (recipe to come).

This recipe makes a huge pot of soup, so you may want to share it with some friends or neighbors. I haven't tried to freeze this soup yet, but I think it would freeze great in an airtight container. It would be great to only have to defrost and re-heat this soup to eat on a busy week day after work.
But for now... just stay warm with a spicy and hearty soup. Much peace and health to you today!

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