I’m a green pea fanatic. I can easily plow through a pound of English peas or snap peas straight from the farmers market bins (after bagging and paying for them). A big bowl of steamed peas and carrots with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top is the bomb (for me).
Most of the time, I’m eating steamed, previously frozen, organic peas, but I am starting to see fresh English peas and snap peas appear in the market again. And our farmer’s market season just kicked off this past weekend, which means fresh, local peas and cucumbers in the coming months!
Given my love of peas, split pea soup is also a meal for me, and it’s a simple and relatively fast meal to make. It takes 30 minutes to have a piping hot bowl of this green goodness. And you can add you’re own stuff to it, as you wish. The final color is really not vibrant green – more like the off-green color used to paint kitchen and bathroom walls.
I prefer this soup straight up, but you can add steamed carrots or peas on top when it’s ready, or a dash of flavored olive oil and a sprinkle of spices, such as smoked cayenne, paprika or onion powder. And of course if you eat meat, you can add some diced bacon or ham, although you may want to add it after blending the soup (see the method below), or sprinkle it on top of an individual bowl.
Blended soups are great for healing a hurt belly. They require much less digestive action, and are easy to pack with nutrients. As part of my son’s healing regimen, and due to a slight setback, he has been on a liquid diet for a few days now, which consists of smoothies and soups. It sounds drastic, but it’s really quite soothing. I also found it is much better than drinking the elemental diet stuff out of cans – which we tried a few times with some success, but not enough to ignore the list of ingredients that in no way resemble whole food.
Split Pea Soup (makes about 3 bowls)
- 1 red onion, diced (or other onion)
- 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cup of dried split peas (I use green, but yellow work too)
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- In a large saucepan, on medium heat, saute the olive oil and diced onions for a few minutes, or until the onions are beginning to soften a bit.
- To the saucepan, add the water, salt, and split peas.
- Bring the pea soup to a boil, and then lower to a simmer and cover the saucepan.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the peas are mostly soft, with just a bit of a bite to them.
- Add the lemon juice to the soup and stir to mix.
- Now, you’re choice: either blend the entire soup, or blend about half of it and add the remaining peas to the blended soup. I prefer having my soup completely smooth and blended, but it’s your choice. And feel free to add more hot water to thin the soup out a bit if it’s too thick.
- Add some yogurt, flavored oil, a pinch of smoked cayenne or paprika, or some lemon zest and peas on top (what I do) and enjoy!