After spending the summer in Colorado, J and I were able to take our savings and finally move to Europe. Although we were originally going for Ireland for convenience, we decided to take a leap of faith and chase the island sun. Three weeks ago, we moved to Malta- an island/rock between Italy and Africa. I thought that I was escaping winter and, to be honest, that’s pretty much true. However, turns out that houses aren’t insulated very well, and that makes nights a bit chilly. I write this wearing sweats, a sweatshirt, and wool socks, even though the outside air is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Clothing like this and the early disappearance of the sun always put me in the mood for warm, hearty soups. Plus, soups are always cheap and cost-efficient to make for folks eating on a budget.
I haven’t had split pea soup in ages. I think it’s because I grew up spoiled by my Dad’s amazing recipe. He’d always make it a few days after Christmas, utilizing the ham bone leftover from the holiday feast, and it was a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Coming up with this recipe on the spot as I went, I wondered if the absence of the traditional ham would have a negative impact on the taste. Low and behold: it doesn’t!
I like to think of soups as one of my best culinary talents, and J told me that I knocked this one out of the park. Don’t be fooled: I know split pea soup doesn’t look like the most appetizing dish, but the kick-ass flavors make up for the boring 70’s-era-kitchen color. I added some soy protein bits at the end of the process, just to give that extra bit of filling/mimic the chewy ham texture, and it worked brilliantly. This vegan split pea soup is great for an easy appetizer or dinner this winter season and can definitely find a spot in your winter recipe repertoire. Enjoy!
Prep time: less than 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 to 55 minutes
- 1 c green split peas
- 3 c water
- 200 g fresh pumpkin, diced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp turmeric
- salt and pepper, to taste
- handful of dried soy pieces (optional)
Bring water to a boil in a medium to large pot. Split peas do not need to be soaked beforehand, but you should rinse them before adding them to your water. Add all ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Cover and leave simmering for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves, then pour mixture into a food processor. If you have a hand blender, even better! Blend or pulse for around a minute, until you achieve a lovely green consistency. If you decide to include soy chunks, return the soup to the pot and add them. Allow them to absorb the liquid and cook over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve into bowls and enjoy!
*Note: I’ve been going through a truffle oil phase recently, and I found adding a few drops on top of the soup at the end makes this winter favorite extra-gorgeous.
Yields 2 to 4 servings (large bowls versus appetizer size)