This creamy vegetarian dairy-free soup is easy to prepare, super inexpensive, and it tastes so rich and sweet, you’ll swear you’ve added sugar. It’s a terrific hearty meal in a bowl on a chilly winter day.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1-2 hours
Total Ingredients Cost: $3-$4
Serves: 4 adults
2 cups dried split peas, green or yellow, or both
1-2 cup(s) chopped fresh carrots
6 cups cold water
Cracked Black Peppercorns
Place dried split peas into a sieve and rinse. Pour cold water into a medium size stock pot. Add peas and a dash of sea salt. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally to keep peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot. At boiling, the peas foam quickly, so keep stirring and watch! At boiling point, stir, and reduce heat to medium-low or simmer. Set lid on pot leaving slightly open to allow steam to escape. Adding a splash of olive oil will help keep down the foam.
Meanwhile, finely mince 4-8 cloves garlic (you decide!) and a quarter to one-half of a white cooking onion. You can substitute, or use equal parts of, 1 or 2 small shallots or 3-4 fresh whole onion greens. Chop fresh carrots. Pour 1-2 tablespoons olive oil into saucepan, heat slightly, and add garlic and onion. Sprinkle with sea salt, and crack in 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, the more coarse, the better. Saute at medium heat (be careful not to burn!) to a light golden brown, then toss in carrots, adding a bit more oil if needed. Sprinkle in a dash more salt and cracked black pepper. Stir lightly so the garlic and onion don’t sit at the bottom of the pan, and saute carrots for 3-5 minutes, till shiny and slightly browned. Then remove from heat and stir gently into soup.
Add 1/2-1 cup cold water to the sauce pan, stir to mix in oil and seasonings from pan bottom, and set aside. Simmer the soup in pot for between 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. As soup thickens, add the seasoned water from sauce pan you’ve set aside. Keep adding small amounts of water from time-to-time. Consistency is purely an individual choice – the more water you add during cooking, the more liquid the soup will be. Just remember when you’re adding water that you can always thin the soup more toward the end of cooking time, but you can’t thicken if it’s too thin. Also, it doesn’t hurt to taste-test, and add more sea salt and cracked black pepper as desired. Never season a soup after it’s done cooking. You get the most harmonious seasoning by adding a bit of it at each stage of cooking rather than dumping it all in at once. If you’re feeding young children, reduce pepper and grind it more fine.
When soup is at desired texture and flavour, ladle into soup mugs or bowls. Serve with freshly baked French Bread, Grilled Garlic Bread or 20 Minute Cheesy Biscuits.
Leftover soup can be refrigerated and/or frozen, and reheated. When reheating, you’ll need to add a bit of water because it thickens when it chills and sets.
© L D’anna 2017