Monday, October 12, 2009

Split Pea Soup


So at least one of the Mother Units (yes, I have more than one) has been following the blog. Maybe she's not, humor me anyway. I desperately needed a non-dessert win after two back to back main dish losers.  Mom's are supposed to root for you and encourage you when you are down. Yesterday, Mother Unit e-mailed me 2  purported delicious foolproof vegan recipes.   I took this as a sign. Never mind that neither recipe was designed for a crock pot.  Naturally, I decided to try them in a crock pot.

Ironically, I consulted Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, hoping not to disappoint and sabotage Mother Unit's valiant imagined rescue attempt,   I figured the water/broth ratios on  their split pea soup would help me modify Mother Unit's version  for a crock pot.  Her recipe was so mammoth, it needed to be reduced (a lot) just to fit in a crock pot. I decide to add in 1 Tbls of brown sugar, since day old holiday hams usually have brown sugar glaze bits on them.  I also tossed in a bay leaf.

During a follow-up call, she swears this recipe is so good, non vegetarians love it and gasp in amazement that it isn't a post holiday meaty ham bone laden meat fest. On second thought, she confesses, she might have imagined this response.  Suddenly, I have a flash back to a very strange diet she was following in 1979 that gave rise to this soup. I remind myself that, so far, all of my main dish losers have been successfully redeemed with a follow-up sugary success. If this turns out badly, my fall back plan is redemptive crock pot caramel apples.

Winner, Loser or Meh

Exceptional.  I love this soup. Thanks to the Mother Unit.   I tasted it before adding the brown sugar and after.  I think it needed the brown sugar.  The whole leftover holiday ham split pea soup experience is had with the brown sugar. I could swear I was gnawing on tiny bits of ham.  I had a small bowl at the 12 hour mark which was okay, but not perfect.  I then left the lid off for about on hour while it stayed on low.  Then, it was perfect and thick.  I also didn't take out the celery spiked with cloves.  As the day went on, I kept going back for small bowls of the soup, it got better and better.

Recipe

I used a large round crock pot for this. A medium would have worked, too.

Ingredients  
  • 1 cup dried split peas
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (I used Pacific Organic)
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp chopped garlic (I used Christopher's in a jar)
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled, finely diced
  • 1 handful baby carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery (with a few leaves), finely diced, except leave one 3" chunk
  • 3 whole cloves - poke cloves into 3" celery chunk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • l/2 tsp. cumin
  • l/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 Tbls brown sugar
Rinse the split peas in colander and remove any discolored ones.  Mix all ingredients except the sugar in the crock pot.  Cook on low for 12-15 hours.  Add brown sugar, stir.  Remove the cloves & bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  You can use an immersion blender to puree the soup (I did not) .Serve with croutons (or not).

5 comments:

  1. This soup was soooo delicious! I have been looking for a vegetarian substitute for my Grandma's pea and ham soup for so long, and I can say now that I have found it! Thanks for posting this!

    With my slow cooker I think it needed to be cooked for longer on low, or perhaps on a higher setting, because it was quite watery and there were still some crunchy pea bits. This didn't matter in the end, though, because I was so excited by the taste!

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  2. Awesome. I liked it chunky by leaving the carrots and celery in larger pieces. I also threw in a small diced potato. Perfection.

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  3. Sounds like a winner to me!! This soup would be perfect on this cold, rainy day - - YUMMM!!

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  4. I just made this soup this week. Very good. I've been vegetarian for over 20 years and haven't had split pea soup since I became vegetarian. This soup is wonderful!

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  5. Smelling this wafting from the kitchen right now. It is tomorrow's dinner with some homemade olive and rosemary garlic bread. My crockpot is ginormous, so I had to double the recipe. I could have actually tripled it without a problem. I also left the carrots chunky. Can't wait to add the brown sugar and taste it tomorrow!

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