It’s not much to look at. If you’ve never had it, you can probably imagine a lot of things you’d rather eat. But to those of us who have tasted good split pea soup, it is a beautiful sight to behold.
Back when I was looking for a split pea soup recipe, it seemed like they all involved some random piece of meaty bone that you boil with the soup and then discard. I’m not a huge fan of spending money on something I’m just going to throw out, so this recipe was the solution.
I can’t remember where I got this recipe. Off the internet somewhere a while back? Who knows. I made plenty of changes anyway. 🙂
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped (I never peel my carrots if I’m putting them in soup. It’s a waste of time. It’s not like they have a “shell” or anything; the only reason we peel them is because they’re not pretty.)
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 16-oz bag dried split peas (sift through the bag and check to make sure there are no tiny rocks mixed in!)
- 8 cups chicken broth (I use fat-free low-sodium)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt-free seasoning blend (I used a random “savory” mixture I had on hand. You probably have one of those too, but if not, splash together some thyme, basil, etc…)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- A few good shakes of Cholula hot sauce (This sauce is one of my staples. I grew up on it. Stephen is now addicted. You can use another hot sauce if you don’t have Cholula, though.)
You may be tempted to avoid the red pepper and hot sauce. Don’t. My friend Andrea is very sensitive to spicy foods, and she didn’t think it was spicy at all. It just adds extra flavor, I promise!
It’s actually very easy, especially if you’re lazy like me and mash the soup with a potato masher instead of puréeing it in a food processor or blender (hey, it’s fewer dishes to wash!).
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sautée the onion, carrot, celery and garlic until onion is translucent. Stir occasionally – it should just take about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the split peas. After about 30 seconds, stir in the broth, seasonings and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (lid still on!) for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Mash with a potato masher. If you want a perfectly velvety soup, you can purée it in a food processor or blender, but mashing it actually does a pretty good job otherwise.
We ate it with homemade biscuits. Perfect.
Ready to add the peas: