The People's Reciplex

Surprisingly Good Split Pea Soup

The inspiration for the unusual additions of caramelized onions and cuminseed to split pea soup came from a recipe I found about a year ago on Epicurious. But I’ve messed with it enough, and don’t even remember the original recipe, so that I don’t feel too much like Jayson Blair for putting my name on it.
This takes quite a while from start to finish, but nearly all of it is unattended time, so it’s not a slave-over-the-stove dish by any means.
2 large or 3 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large carrot and 1 parsnip, or 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
6 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cup split peas, green or yellow or a combination
2 tablespoons butter
Splash balsamic vinegar or wine
1 bay leaf
Chopped parsley or cilantro, optional
1 teaspoon or more whole cuminseed
Ground or chopped dried chipotle pepper, optional
Rinse peas and set aside in a bowl with enough water to cover.
Melt butter in a soup pot on medium heat, add onions and cuminseed, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, making sure they do not burn but that they start to soften and brown. After about 15 minutes uncover, let brown just a bit more. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar or red wine (or white), and cook, stirring (don’t inhale those wicked fumes!), until the onion mixture is a little syrupy.
While the onions are cooking, trim and dice up the carrots and/or parsnip. Add them to the onions after completing the steps above, stir and cook a minute.
Add peas, stock, bay leaf and a bit of chipotle if desired. Stir, and cover partially. Check on it every once in awhile to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, if not, add water. Cook for about an hour, until peas have broken down and begun to thicken the liquid. Add water if it’s too thick.
If you like, add a handful or so of chopped parsley near the end. Season with salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper.
Serving suggestion: add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the bowl before you eat.

Posted by:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2003 at 6:30 pm and is filed under soups.

Leave a Reply