All this time writing and I completely space on updating the blog. Well, mostly. Anyway, I’ve made a number of original things over the past week or so and they all deserve a place on this page, inclusive of an excellent split pea soup.
I tried to take a photo of it; did take a photo, actually, but the lighting in here combined with the unique color and texture of the soup makes for an unpleasant looking and entirely false sort of blue-grey.
So, as to what you can expect, it’s a very rich green. It’s almost a thin gelatin, liquid when hot but congealed when cold. For ingredients, you will need:
- About 32 oz. dry split peas
- A couple of ham steaks
- one bunch green onions
- four cloves of garlic
- one to three tablespoons coriander
- one and a half tablespoons curry
- two cans chicken stock
Well, really, you can measure the spices to your own taste; all curries are different and I honestly eyeballed them to begin with. If you would like a vegan preparation, simply ignore the ham and replace the chicken broth with water, with a little sea salt to add zest. I’m not a vegan—not even distantly—but I respect the lifestyle.
Begin by soaking the peas in water, overnight. They will rise by about twice their dry volume, so have room in the pot to compensate for that.
After the peas have expanded, drain the water out, and empty into either a heavy kettle or a slow cooker; my preferred method is the slow cooker. Add both cans of chicken stock, along with the spices, and turn the slow cooker on high.
Chop the ham into bite-sized cubes; if you have a bone, go ahead and throw it in, it will add flavor. Add the cubes as soon as they are ready. Dice the green onions, short of the very tips, and shuffle the chopped bulbs and stems into the soup. Peel your garlic, and crush it carefully with your palm under the flat of a kitchen knife; chop the crushed garlic as finely as you reasonably can, and scrape it into the pot. Allow to simmer in the slow cooker for at least six hours, preferably all day.
The completed soup will be a nearly homogeneous paste, in a brilliant green color. Season with sea salt, black pepper, and/or ground red chile.
Split pea soup is, even at its most basic, a relatively complete meal. It’s easy to overdo it when trying to improve it. While generally I encourage people to be creative, I will caution you about this; there is a capacity to the number of ingredients you can add to this soup. If you are going for something vegan, you may want some form of additive to make up for the lack of ham. A spicy tofu or perhaps chopped eggplant would do nicely, but serve it as a side. If you would like to add something to the soup itself, red potatoes would do very well and are not as likely to lose their consistency. In any case, this soup is excellent when served with a little toasted pumpernickel, perhaps with some butter or cream cheese.
By my count, this was around eight nutritional and filling servings.