Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yellow Split Pea Soup

I am addicted to soup. It's cheap, easy to make, freezes extraordinarily well, and makes great leftovers. I also work in substandard conditions and am frequently cold for one-third of my day. Therefore, consuming warm beverages and food is essential for maintaining a normal body temperature. Actually, I do not work in a poor environment, but I do sit near a window, which likely contributes to the unchanging presence of goosebumps on my arms, legs, and neck. 

Being that I do not buy meat (I'm not a vegetarian, but I live alone and am incapable of cooking in small scale, which means that meat products have a high probability of spoiling), I live off vegetables, legumes, and pasta and am always looking for new recipes that offer some variation from traditional vegetable soup. I've been wanting to make pea soup for a while now, but have always been a bit apprehensive because of a horrible pressure cooker story that I'd heard years ago. Then I remembered that I don't own a pressure cooker, so the chances of my pea soup hitting the ceiling are low. 

I had every intention of making green split pea soup because that's all I've ever known. However, when I made my weekly pilgrimage to the market, I quickly realized that the green bits were straight up sold out, with yellow being my only option. Ah, whatever... I bought them and hoped for the best. 

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper
8 carrots, chopped
1 pound dried split yellow peas (about 2 1/4 cups or one standard-sized bag)
10 cups stock
salt to taste

1. First and foremost, soak your peas for a little bit. This will release some of the starch. Dump them into a bowl and cover them with water and let them sit while you chop and saute your carrots and onions. 

2. In a stock pot, saute onions in oil. Once they are translucent, add carrots and garlic. Continue sauteing for a few more minutes. 

3. Drain pea water. 

4. Add peas and all remaining ingredients to the stock pot. Let simmer for about 45 minutes, skimming foam off top every so often. 

5. So here's the deal. When I tried this as the recipe was originally written (not as written here), the soup was too thick and was almost like a thick puree. So, I decided to add more water and blend. If the soup is not too thick, cool; enjoy as written. If it's too thick, add some water and blend it. 

** You can also make this in a crock pot if you so choose!
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