It’s Fall. Days are getting shorter; nights are getting colder. Suddenly, a steamy bowl of soup sounds like the perfect meal.
Not only does soup make you feel warm and toasty, it fills you up without a lot of calories. This is important as we approach the holidays – also known as Weight Gain Road.
One of my favorite hearty soups is Split Pea. It’s fast and easy to make IF you plan ahead. If you don’t, then it’s just easy. This is because split peas take a long time to soften, which means hours of simmering.
You can drastically speed up the process by soaking the peas overnight, thereby whittling cooking time down to half an hour (seriously!). So before you go to bed, put the dried split peas in a large bowl and pour the allotted water over them. I boil the water first to give a boost to the softening process, but I’m not sure it really matters.
SPLIT PEA SOUP – makes 4 cups
- 1 cup dried split peas
- 5 cups water
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp thyme
Soak peas overnight (or, early in the morning) in the water and 1/2 tsp of the salt.
To cook, pour the peas and soaking water into a pot and bring to boiling. As this is heating up, prepare the vegetables. Add them to the pot.
When soup is boiling, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for about 1/2 an hour. Taste test to see if peas are softened. Add in cayenne, thyme, and remaining salt. Adjust seasoning, as desired.
Ladle 2 cups of the soup into a blender and purée. Pour back into the pot. If the consistency is too thin for you, simmer the soup UNCOVERED another 15 minutes or so, stirring now and then.
NOTE: If you didn’t soak the peas, put the dried peas and water into a pot, bring to boiling, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for about 2 hours. Then proceed with instructions above.