I’ve been practicing a few soup recipes this winter, because soup is one of those miracle foods that should be in any good cook’s recipe arsenal. With a few simple techniques perfected, the ingredient combinations are endless. In fact, most soups require just a minimal amount of chopping and preparation. The real magic happens with a couple hours on the stove, where the water or broth, lots of veggies, and filling additions like pasta, beans, or shredded chicken come together to form a rich and delicious one-bowl meal. My mom, a soup master, always incorporates a few flavorful additions at the last minute that add extra depth and complexity. A sprinkle of parmesan for minestrone, a drizzle of good olive oil over a pureed vegetable soup, or red wine, sesame oil, and mustard as the perfect additions to this split pea soup.
This hearty dish could really be enjoyed all year round, but to me it feels perfect for chilly winter nights. I cooked up a large pot last weekend, and I’ve been heating up bowls for quick dinners all week. I love the smooth, velvety texture of the softened split peas, offset by the carrots, potatoes, and diced tomatoes. I like the tangy kick that a splash of apple cider vinegar adds, and I threw in a decent amount of dried herbs for good measure. From now on, I’m making sure to keep a jar of dry green peas in my cupboard so I can prepare this dish when the craving strikes. This split pea soup may not be anything glamorous, but it’s perfectly warm, hearty, and comforting – and sometimes that’s exactly what we need, am I right?
Split Pea Soup
Makes 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small potato, finely chopped
- 3 cups dry green split peas, divided
- 6 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, carrots, celery, and potato and continue sautéing for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add 1 1/5 cup split peas, water, bay leaf, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring regularly, for 30 minutes.
- Add remaining peas and continue to cook for another 45 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf. Add remaining ingredients and continue to simmer until peas are soft and all ingredients are warmed through, about 15 more minutes.
- The tomato can be replaced by one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes – add the liquid, too!