More rain, more soup.
Since it’s been raining (pouring) yet again in the Bay Area, it was time again for more soup this past weekend. I was craving split pea soup, so I went to Whole Foods to pick up the fixin’s and my plan was nearly foiled. After picking up some carrots, celery and onion in the produce aisle, I made my way over to the bulk foods section to get some split peas. And lo and behold, they were completely out! How could they be out of split peas in the bulk foods section? Granted, the store was completely packed that day, so much so that there was a line of cars trying to get into the parking lot and it took a good 15 minutes to find parking, but was everyone and their dog also craving split pea soup?!?
Apparently so. I filled up on some lentils as a consolation prize. But I just wasn’t feeling them that day, although I like to make lentil soup on occasion, too. Feeling a bit dejected and disappointed, I dragged myself through the rest of the store to pick up my yogurt and other staples. After being confronted with the empty bin in bulk foods, I figured I had one last shot at the peas in the packaged dried beans section. Since I usually get my peas in bulk foods, I wasn’t even sure if Whole Foods carried packaged split peas, so I was taking my chances. I knew they had things like dried black beans or navy beans or pintos, but I didn’t know about the peas. And when I got to the beans section, there was, yet again, an entire portion of the shelf completely gone. I looked at the tag on the shelf: Split Peas. Seriously?!? How could the entire store be sold out of split peas?
But then I spied, at the very back of the shelf, one lonely package of peas pushed as far back as it could possibly go and mixed amongst the black beans, as if someone was trying to hide it for safe keeping. Relieved, I nabbed that package of peas right up! Because I didn’t feel like lentils anyway.
Split Pea Soup
1 med. onion
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. dried split peas
8 cups water or stock (I like chicken, veggie would also be fine)
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. thyme
1) Saute onion in 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Salt. Add garlic and continue to sauté.
2) Add carrots and sauté, then celery. Salt.
3) When veggies have begun to soften, add split peas and sauté briefly.
4) Add liquid. One great thing about split pea soup is that it actually doesn’t need stock. The peas are flavorful enough that you can just add water and end up with a great tasting soup. But, personally, I like to use chicken stock or broth for additional flavor.
5) Add spices.
6) Bring soup to a boil. Lower to a simmer and simmer for approximately 30-60 minutes or until peas are desired consistency.
Another great thing about split peas is that they’ll completely fall apart on their own, you really don’t have to blend the soup unless you want to. Since I happen to like things on the rustic slide, I don’t blend my soup, I leave it chunky. You can also add other veggies or ham or bacon if you’re into that. I happened to have a parsnip in the fridge, so I added one to this batch. I’ve also added red potatoes before. I think any veggie in the white color range would probably do well with split peas–rutabaga, turnip (the peas may cut their bitterness), maybe even celeriac.