Many of you were enthusiastic about the lentil soup recipe I posted a few weeks back. Today's split pea soup recipe is similar in spirit. It's a delicious, healthy, textured soup made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. No ham hocks in this version, simply green split peas and onions cooked until tender, then partially pureed. The vibrant green soup is finished with a generous drizzle of golden olive oil, a few flecks of lemon zest, and a dusting of smoked paprika to give the soup some smoky depth.
Like the lentil soup, a bowl of this soup delivers many of the same nutritional benefits - a good amount of vegetable protein and plenty of staying power. It is hearty and filling, and even better reheated later in the day. You can find dried split green peas in many natural foods stores, I picked these up in the bin section at Whole Foods Market.
Hope you enjoy the soup, and for those of you who have never tried split peas, this might be the time to give them a go! Also, for those of you who are curious about what is on the horizon - I'm going to share a new cookbook profile next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that :)...
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Recipe
I thought about throwing a couple handfuls of small broccoli trees into this soup (a few minutes before doing the puree), spinach would be great as well. You can use a vegetable stock if you like in place of the water. I've mentioned before that I like Rapunzel Herb Bouillon with Salt (available at many stores), I use about 1/2 of one cube in a soup like this to kick things off - it makes a nice, light but flavorful broth.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)
a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle
Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.
Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.
Serves 4 to 6.