Anyone who knows us knows that T. is a huge lover of anything pork or made with pork fat...so how did I get him to eat Split Pea soup without a ham hock in it???? I made it and served it to him on Valentine's Day along with a loaf of fresh homemade bread, that's how! Is there anyway on a day that men are so filled with guilt could he have possibly said "no way will I eat that!" Anyway he ate it an really liked it so did the girls!!! I have to say that it was probably one of the best pea soups that I have ever had and it is all courtesy of Heidi at 101 Cookbooks.
Now, I know that her recipe says "vegetarian" pea soup but she has some really great recipes on there that you can tailor to a non vegetarian life style. I eat meat but I am very consciously aware about what I will consume. I will only eat meat that I am sure does not support any CAFOs therefore my family will only eat the same as I am their food source! I make all of my own stocks for soups and use only meats that are humanely raised.
Yes, this is challenging but I am not fully convinced that a vegetarian lifestyle is the best for me and my family. Now that all said we try to eat a mainly vegetarian diet with a small amount of meat protein thrown in. We are trying to make it so that is not the main part of our meal. So when I saw what sounded like a great recipe for Pea Soup I knew I had to try it! I did add chicken stock to help add some flavor and replace half of the water and I also added soup vegetable soup base to help bring out the flavor.
Will I make this again? Oh yes definitely. It was very fast and easy to make. Everyone enjoyed it - even the girls and T. took it for his lunch today so that says something right there!
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup (Heidi of 101 Cookbooks)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (I added 3 cloves of garlic as well)
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water (I substituted 3 cup of the water with homemade chicken stock)
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)
a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle
Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.
Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.
Serves 4 to 6.