Monday, November 19, 2012

Split Pea Soup

Monday Night Writers’ Group tonight, and so I need a vegetarian/vegan dish ideal for a chilly New Hampshire evening. Change the original recipe's chicken broth to vegetable broth, omit the ham bone and optional diced ham or bacon garnish, and this French-inspired soup, my version of a classic potage, is perfect.

Split Pea Soup is one of my favorite potages santés (healthful soups), but don’t let the "healthful" fool you into thinking it isn’t delicious. My homemade vegetable broth is simmering now with the rest of the ingredients. The house smells divine, and we’ll enjoy the finished soup with crusty French bread and white wine. Here’s to another evening of inspired writing!


2 Tbs. light olive oil                                   2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large onion, chopped                              ½ tsp. dry chervil
2 stalks celery, chopped                            2 bay leaves
2-3 carrots, diced                                       1 tsp. salt
1 large russet-type potato, diced               Additional fresh marjoram
8 cups vegetable broth                                 or parsley, chopped for garnish
1 lb. dried split green peas                         Croutons, if desired
2-3 sprigs fresh marjoram

1. Pick over the dried peas for foreign objects and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft, then add celery and carrot and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and stir another minute. Add hot broth and salt. Rinse the peas and add them to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil.

3. Place herbs and bay leaves in bouquet garni bag and add to soup. (If you can't find fresh herbs, use 1 tsp. dried)

4. Cover and simmer until peas are falling apart, about 1-1¼ hours.

5. Remove bouquet garni. Pureé a few ladlesful of soup in a blender and return to pot, or run an immersion blender briefly through the pot. Correct seasoning and serve soup with desired garnish. Makes 6-8 generous main dish servings.

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