Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Mmm, split pea soup. This may sound repulsive to some of you (mom) out there, but to me and the husband it sounds like a dreamy bowl of warm goodness. My favorite part of being stuck for hours delayed at the San Fransisco airport is purchasing a bowl of split pea soup from the sourdough soup place. It is good, though i always burn my mouth. I've never really thought of making it myself, but upon wandering the aisles of Fiesta the other day looking for grains to fill a craft project i was working on i saw this pretty yellow split peas
"What the heck" i said to myself "Might as well buy these and see what happens."

It's been a little chilly here in Austin, brisk and seasonal (sort of) feeling and we've been eating a lot of soup. We'd had several nights of tomato based dinners, so i thought about those split peas and the leftover veg stock i had in the fridge.
"Would you eat split pea soup if i made it" i said to my husband. "sure. What is that?" he's kind of a dork, but i love him and he'll eat about anything i make.
This particular recipe earned me 2 enthusiastic high fives. Hot dog! I just whipped it up last night, so tonight i'll make it again and pay more careful attention to amounts used.

My recipe was built around Alton Brown's (oh how i miss the food network) curried split pea soup. Once i learned i didn't have to soak the peas overnight, i was set.

Here's mine:
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 12 oz/ 1 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 cups veg/chicken stock
  • curry powder, about a dozen shakes
  • turmeric, about 1/2 tablespoon
  • chilly powder, about a dozen shakes or less, to taste
  • sage- just a dash
  • thyme - tiny pinch (not sure if these last two are essential to the recipe, but i threw them in the first time, so better be consistent.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized pot throw in the onions and garlic with maybe a bit of olive oil or butter if you prefer and cook until softening: do not allow to brown. Once soft add the peas, stock, and all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer about 50 minutes or until the peas are soft. Alton says to cook til they're mush and shapeless but i stopped simmering mine when they were soft enough to bite through but still had some body. Turn off the heat and hit with your immersion blender until ingredients are mostly smooth and well integrated. I left it with a few pea chunks, we enjoyed the variance in texture this created.

Optional : serve with a garnish of turkey bacon, diced jalapeno, or chives.

Hmm, so last time i used HEB (Central Market) brand organic chicken broth. Tonight i used Pacific: half chicken, half veg stock. I'm thinking the central market stock was waaaaay better. I love Pacific's soups, but their stock was a little too earthy or something. I also used some of my saved turkey stock, which is of course delicious.

Also, last time i think i had a larger ration of pea to stock, we liked it thicker like that. Also, I had a harder time keeping some pea chunks in this batch as the jalapenos kept running away from the blender. Definitely try and keep some chunks, we preferred it that way.

After a hearty dinner like that: i better stay active and drawing today!

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!