Thursday, April 12, 2012

Smoky Split Pea Soup-vegan style

I admit, I've not made homemade split pea soup before this recipe. I had noticed split peas at the store and even tried some tasty soup split pea soup at my favorite local cafe. But, I personally have not tried this feat. So, the other day I saw them again at the store and I heard them calling my name. So, what do you do when you hear real food talking to you? You buy it! 
So, I bought me some dried split green peas. No arm twisting here. They were so darn cheap too. Like just over a dollar for a pound. They also contain 12 grams of protein per 1/4 cup dry and so if you use 2 1/2 cups to make some soup- well, you do the math, that's a lot of vegan protein! They also contain loads of calcium, magnesium, fiber and vitamins too. The lists of what they contain for your health is amazing. I also learned that they contain a mineral that may help you with detoxifying sulfites from your body. Sulfites are what they add to many preservatives and packaged foods. So if you are a recovering processed food addict- try split peas!
So, I got my green peas home and started doing some flipping in my cookbooks and googling. I found that the traditional split green pea soup usually contains ham or meat or at least a hefty ham bone. I really wanted my soup to be meat-free, so I decided to adventure out away from recipes and go on a whim alone. I used some of my favorite savory spices and a few unexpected others and it turned out fabulous. It was hearty, savory, and yes, even kinda smoky too.

This soup is perfect for a rainy day (well- it was snowing here yesterday!) and perfect to feel full, satisfied and nourished. Plus, did I already mention that split green peas are super cheap. You can live on real food for cheap. It can be done, friends. It may be a step in a new direction and you may feel lost as times, but let me tell you....it is worth it. So, here's my take on a heart split green pea soup. Enjoy!
Smoky Split Green Pea Soup Recipe- vegan style
1-2 TB of ghee or sauteing oil
3-4 minced fresh garlic
1 large yellow onion finely chopped
1 heaping cup of finely chopped celery
2 heaping cups of chopped carrots
2 1/2 cups of washed, rinsed and rained split green peas
8-10 cups of vegetable broth or stock
handful of finely chopped fresh kale
handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
1 ts. of hungarian paprika
1 ts. of curry powder or tumeric
1/2 ts. of ground cumin
1 ts. of Italian dried herb blend
1/4 ts. of ground ginger
1/4 ts. of ground mustard seed
1/4 ts. of celery seed
2 TB of apple cider vinegar
1 TB of wheat-free low-sodium tamari sauce
sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large 8 quart pot or dutch oven, saute the garlic, onion and carrots and celery in the oil. Cook for a few minutes and then add the washed split peas. You do not need to soak the peas. They are ready to cook after they have been washed. Then add the broth and the rest of the spices ingredients. Cook at high heat till a boil and then turn down the heat to medium low and cook at a simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Slow cooking will allow the peas to soften up and to cook down allowing them to be more digestible and the flavors to blend together perfectly. So this isn't a quick fix soup, but it is one that can be put together and left for a while to cook on the stove. You will know it is ready to eat when the peas and softened and thickened the broth and everything is soft. If your soup has thickened up too much during the cooking process, no fear- just add a few more cups of broth to thin it out. Serve with a topping of fresh herbs or your favorite GF bread, cracker or crouton. This is a very hearty and healthy soup and you will be able to serve 10-12 people or at least have leftovers for a few days.
Well, that is my take on a staple food. Peas have been around since the earliest records of civilization and can be a great way to nourish a weak stomach and soul. I know I will be making this soup a staple in my kitchen and hope to find more ways to love split green peas!

Hope you enjoy! Much love as always!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Stephanie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  2. I just made this soup this week and OH MY GOSH!!! It was the best soup I've ever made and tasted! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing all your amazing recipes! The sweet potato quinoa lentil loaf was awesome too!

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