Saturday, March 6, 2010

Split pea soup

I bought split peas last week, and have been anxious to make soup. Split peas remind me of studying abroad in London. 

I studied abroad January through March in 2005. Not a particularly beautiful time of year in London. Yes, it was very, very cold. We stayed warm by drinking coffee in the morning, and tea in the afternoon and evening. Meals were provided to us at the dorm during the week, but the weekends were left up to us. We didn't have a refrigerator, so we would store bags of food outside our windows on the ledge of the building. 

One day at Waitrose in Chelsea, my friend Barbara and I found a deal on soups. Two soups for three pounds. We each bought a few and walked home delighted by our cheap find. That night I enjoy the most delicious bowl of oak-smoked garlic, split pea soup. I still think about that earthy, rich soup. It was perfect on a winter night in London. And today, on a chilly evening in Raleigh.

Split Pea Soup
Inspired by Deborah Madison's split pea soup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
4 tbsp cilantro with stems
1 c yellow split peas, rinsed
3.5 c water 
2 c kale, baby and lacinato
1/2 lemon, juice
Drizzle of olive oil

Heat the coconut oil over medium heat, and add the onion when hot. After a few minutes add the carrots. Let the onions and carrots soften, then add the garlic, herbs and spices. As the dish becomes aromatic, add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Turn the heat off. If you'd like, use a hand immersion blender to puree some of the soup now. Add the greens and lemon juice, stir and cover for 10 minutes or until the greens have wilted. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil or a dollop of goat cheese.

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