Sunday, September 08, 2013

Simple Split Pea Soup

If you've been reading along, or have just tuned in randomly, I'm doing a post-a-day for Vegan Month of Food Blogging (Or check out #VeganMoFo as it's hashtagged all over Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).
My "theme" if you could loosely call it that, happens to be my thoughts on turning the "Big Five-Oh", a milestone that I hit on the first days of 'Month of Food Blogging".
Nothing too deep or profound, just a few rambling ideas to go along with my recipes, which is exactly what would happen is you pulled up to the bar in my kitchen to visit with me while I cooked anyway...

So what are my thoughts about turning 50? My thoughts today are simply this:
You don't always have to blow people away with the biggest and fanciest, 

sometimes "simple" is "simply perfect"!

There have been countless times over the years (even before I was vegan) when I've had friends over for dinner, or been asked to make something for a family get-together, potluck or bake sale, and I would fret for DAYS about what to make! Would it be fancy enough? Healthy enough? Colorful enough? Tasty enough? Use enough trendy, expensive ingredients?

But I have learned, after sweating bullets and torturing myself with endless hours concocting masterpieces in the kitchen, that people really just LIKE when you keep it simple.

Sure, my 21-layer 6-types-of-chocolate-vegan-cheesecake was a HUGE hit as well. But I honestly get more compliments (and I admit to liking those just as much as the next person!) when I've made something homey and straightforward. Something SIMPLE! And it's endlessly easier on my budget too!
So in keeping with the theme of simplicity today, here is one of my easiest and most budget-friendly meals, completely approved by friends and family alike. Seriously, what is more PERFECT than a simple bowl of warm, cozy soup on a Fall afternoon?
Simple Split Pea Soup

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
     - Note: Use 3 cups total, of finely chopped veggies, using whatever vegetables you have in the 'fridge. Turnips, sweet potatoes or parsnips work well, and they do NOT have to be in perfect condition; This is a great way to use up the older, starting-to-wilt, ratty veggies; (Obviously, as long as they aren't actually starting to spoil, mold or rot.)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 6 - 8 cups liquid
     - Note: Use any combination broth and water that you prefer (I often just use water and season with random herbs, sometimes add a little white wine, or even tomato juice, again, use anything you have on hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Bacon salt OR 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Lemon (optional)
In a medium-large, heavy-bottomed pot, saute vegetables in oil until tender-crisp.
Add the split peas and 6 cups broth/liquid to cover ingredients; season with salt and pepper. (Or put everything in a crock pot).
On the stove, cover, bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and cook until there are no peas left, just a green liquid, about 2 hours, stirring from time to time. 
In a crock-pot, cook on high for 4 hours or until done as described above.
You may need to add more liquid as the soup continues to cook.
Once the soup is a green liquid, remove from heat, stir in Bacon Salt or liquid smoke and let the soup stand and cool just a bit, so it will thicken.
(Optional) Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with lemon zest.

 I LOVE this served with toasted sourdough bread or grilled 'cheese' sandwiches.


Anonymous said...

Looks so good! Getting cool and rainy here in the UK now after a really hot (for us!) summer, and my thoughts are turning to soup too! I also love the texture of split peas, so satisfying. Pinning this!

Charmite said...

You are so right about simple food! And it's always nicer to spend more time with your guests than in the kitchen of course! I've been looking for a new soup recipe now that 'Autumn' is knocking and this will be perfect. Just need to find the English version of Bacon salt?!

Anonymous said...

Charmite, IMO the best thing we have in the UK to use instead of 'bacon salt' is possibly "Smoked Maldon Sea Salt" look out for it in delis or farm shops or posher grocers. I don't know if it really matches up flavour wise as I've never tasted bacon salt, but I do like it as a seasoning at the table if you want a slight smoky effect.

Anonymous said...

I made the soup, and it is really nice! Big old pan of soup too. Don't have the smokey stuff unfortunately, but otherwise it's lovely! Thanks Tofu mum :)

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Thank you for the feedback! Yes, smoked salt is probably the best substitute and pretty close to my American "Bacon Salt"... AND as you discovered, it's not absolutely vital to the recipe. Thanks so much. (Yeah, I should have mentioned that it DOES make a large pot of soup - usually just right when my whole family is home!!