Split Pea Soup

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It hasn’t been this cold here in years! I’m no lightweight when it comes to cold and snow, having spent my whole life In Upstate NY. My first year in Buffalo, it didn’t go above 0℉ for something like 62 days. That was the year I had no car, didn’t live on a bus route, and had to walk more than a mile uphill to school both ways! Okay, the uphill part is made up — there are no hills in Buffalo. The rest is true, though. Mind you, I know there are plenty of places that are a lot colder than what I’m used to, and plenty of people far hardier than I, but when the weather people start talking wind chills of -25℉, I start thinking soup. It’s wonderfully warming, and good for you, too!

I used bacon for the bit of smoky flavor. You can substitute diced ham if that’s what you have. For a vegetarian, pareve, or halal version, I’ve suggested substitutes right before the nutrition label. (Please do correct me if I’ve misused these terms.)

I love the Instant Pot for this soup. You only dirty one pot, and once you’re done sautéing, it’s “set it and forget it,” not to mention a lot faster. It’s quite simple to make in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, too, and I’ve added those instructions below as well. You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the end.

Ingredients:

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1 large carrot

1 medium onion

1 large clove of garlic

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ – ½ tsp dried thyme *

⅛ – ¼ tsp ground cumin *

⅛ – ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (“crushers”) *

1 small bay leaf

½ pound bacon **

1 pound green split peas

4 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable broth, or water

1 – 2 cups water

1 – 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Preparation:

1.) Peel and dice the carrot and onion; set aside. Mince or press the garlic; set aside separately.

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2.) Chop the bacon. I do this by slicing it crosswise, between 1/4” and 1/2”. Measure out the seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, crushers, and bay leaf) and set aside in a small prep bowl.

3.) Turn on your Instant Pot to the “Sauté” function, using the “Adjust” button to reach “More.” Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon bits to paper towels to drain.

4.) Pour off all but two tablespoons of the fat. Turn the pot off and on again, using the sauté and adjust buttons to return the pot to “Sauté Normal.” Add the diced carrots and onions, and sauté until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds more, then add the seasonings.

5.) Pour in about half of the broth. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up all the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the broth. Keeping an eye on how full the pot is, gradually pour in the water. Don’t fill the Instant Pot more than the halfway mark.

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6.) Use the “Manual,” “Adjust,” and “+/-” buttons to set the Instant Pot to 20 minutes on high pressure for a smooth soup***. Choose 17-18 minutes if you prefer the soup a bit lumpier. Allow ten minutes natural pressure release, then carefully release the rest of the pressure by opening the valve. Be sure to keep your hands and face away from the steam.

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Stir the soup thoroughly before serving. Add a little lemon juice to brighten up the flavor if you think it needs it. I like to serve soups with French Honey Bread or Portuguese Bread.

Split Pea Soup

* Choose the smaller amount if you want the pea flavor to dominate and the larger amount for more complex flavor.

** For vegetarian, pareve, or halal soup: Use vegetable broth or water instead of the chicken broth, and substitute ¼ tsp smoked paprika or ground chipotle for the bacon. Sauté the vegetables in 2 Tbsp of olive oil.

***For stovetop: Cook the bacon and saute the vegetables right in your soup pot. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally.
***For slow cooker: Cook the bacon and saute the vegetables in a large skillet before transferring to the crock of your slow cooker. Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low, or 6 – 7 hours on high.

spsIPNutritionLabel
Calculated using bacon and no-salt-added chicken broth.

Split Pea Soup


Ingredients


1 large carrot
1 medium onion
1 large clove of garlic
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ – ½ tsp dried thyme *
⅛ – ¼ tsp ground cumin *
⅛ – ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (“crushers”) *
1 small bay leaf
½ pound bacon **
1 pound green split peas
4 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1 – 2 cups water
1 – 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions


1.) Peel and dice the carrot and onion; set aside. Mince or press the garlic; set aside separately.
2.) Chop the bacon. I do this by slicing it crosswise, between 1/4” and 1/2”. Measure out the seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, crushers, and bay leaf) and set aside in a small prep bowl.
3.) Turn on your Instant Pot to the “Sauté” function, using the “Adjust” button to reach “More.” Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon bits to paper towels to drain.
4.) Pour off all but two tablespoons of the fat. Turn the pot off and on again, using the sauté and adjust buttons to return the pot to “Sauté Normal.” Add the diced carrots and onions, and sauté until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds more, then add the seasonings.
5.) Pour in about half of the broth. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up all the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the broth. Keeping an eye on how full the pot is, gradually pour in the water. Don’t fill the Instant Pot more than the halfway mark.
6.) Use the “Manual,” “Adjust,” and “+/-” buttons to set the Instant Pot to 20 minutes on high pressure for a smooth soup***. Choose 17-18 minutes if you prefer the soup a bit lumpier. Allow ten minutes natural pressure release, then carefully release the rest of the pressure by opening the valve. Be sure to keep your hands and face away from the steam. Stir the soup thoroughly before serving. Add a little lemon juice to brighten up the flavor if you think it needs it.

* Choose the smaller amount if you want the pea flavor to dominate and the larger amount for more complex flavor.
** Substitute ¼ tsp smoked paprika or ground chipotle for the bacon if you want a vegetarian, pareve, or halal soup. Sauté the vegetables in 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
***For stovetop: Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally.
***For slow cooker: Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low, or 6 – 7 hours on high.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. chefkreso says:

    Looks pretty yummy, love the combo of flavors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Thanks! The hint of cumin is barely identifiable, but it does add a depth of flavor.

      Liked by 1 person

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