Monday, 29 April 2013

Love and peas soup

I love making soup. The preparation and cooking process is soothing - almost meditative - and the aroma wafting through the house is very cosy on a cold day. Soup can be simple or complex, and is delicious with just 5 ingredients or with 20.

I'm not a huge recipe person. I will look at recipes to get inspiration, and then adapt according to the ingredients I have available - usually, whatever is in season. I'm lazy, so I don't like doing mid-week shopping trips after a long day at work. And, I REALLY don't like buying produce at the big chain supermarkets. I'm very much a farmers' market kinda gal. Plus, the quality of produce is usually poor at the big chains compared to markets, and more expensive. I'm frugal, so shopping at farmers' markets is win-win.

So here's a delicious soup recipe that will bring love and peace (peas?) into the hearts of your family and friends. It's been awhile since I cooked with dried peas, and after this recipe I think I'll be using them a lot more. I used yellow split peas for this recipe but green ones would work just as well. Peas pair really nicely with root vegetables - perfect for winter!

1.5 cups split peas (yellow or green)
1 diced yellow onion
1 large carrot
1 large potato (or 3 small potatoes)
half to 1 cup chopped cabbage
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chilli pepper (optional if you like heat)
2-3 cups vegetable stock
Dried rosemary

Sauté onions (in water or a little olive oil) for 1-2 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables, garlic, rosemary, and chilli pepper and sauté for another minute. Add split peas and vegetable stock, and bring to the boil. If needed, add a little plain hot water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until split peas are cooked.

(Note: you could add any dried herbs in place of rosemary, such as thyme, oregano, or basil. If using fresh herbs, add them right at the end of cooking, just as you're about to serve).

I don't pre soak my split peas, and they cook within about 45 minutes. Next time I'll try soaking them and see if it shortens the cooking time at all.

This soup is really thick and filling. My family had it as a stand-alone meal with some plain rice on the side.

I forgot to take a photo of this soup. Oh well, gives me incentive to make it again very soon!

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