After 12 plus years of marriage, Nick and I discovered something we didn’t know about one another. This was that we both loved pea soup as children, much more than our siblings did. He has memories of being served it while the others ate something else. It was the first time we had discussed this little tidbit from our childhood, however not the first time we had enjoyed this homemade version together.
It is made with split peas, either green or yellow and a variety of vegetables, and requires no blending to make it thick and soupy, as the peas sort of dissolve as they cook.
This recipe makes a large pot and leftovers are suitable for freezing. A bowl of it, with some nice bread, makes a healthy filling meal.
Yield: Makes a large pot of soup. Leftovers can be frozen or refrigerated.
4 cups of dried split peas, rinsed in fresh water. (Note: when peas are wet they stick together quite dramatically .. don't be alarmed, they will unstick once they begin cooking.)
10 cups of broth (I used Knorr vegetable powdered broth base, mixed with water as per the directions on the package.)
1/2 large onion, or 1 medium onion, chopped.
1/2 pepper, either red, green or yellow, chopped.
2 carrots, peeled and chopped.
2 to 3 ribs of celery (I used the leaves too, which really added flavour, but are not necessary).
1 scottish bonnet pepper, cut finely. (These are spicy, so adjust or omit if you'd prefer)
2 cloves of garlic, minced.
About 1 teaspoon salt.
About 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
Juice from 1/2 lemon.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Optional: Meat of some sort. A bit of smoky flavour is nice in this, though the soup is fine without it too. To achieve this I have used a natural extract in the past, called "liquid smoke".
Chop all your vegetables into small pieces, noting that the soup won't be further pureed, so you want the veggies small.
Heat a large pot. Add olive oil and then all your vegetables. Saute until cooked, about 10 minutes, stirring often so they don't stick. Add your broth and peas, and if using dried dill add it too. Stir and then reduce heat to low. Cover, leaving a gap for the steam to release, and simmer for 1 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
Once your peas are very soft and somewhat dissolved, add lemon juice, fresh dill if using, and pepper. Stir in about 1 teaspoon liquid smoke if using. Add salt based on your personal liking. I used a teaspoon but you might like less or more, so taste as you go on this step.