Monday, January 13, 2014

Smoky Split Pea Soup

This soup is perfect for Meatless Monday, and I have to confess, I ate it for breakfast. For the Soup Project (where every week was a soup recipe) I paired celery root with split peas in this soup.  It was grand and so creamy with the celery root, but you can't find celery root right now.  And the split peas will make it thick enough.

But celery is always available and since it's on the list of Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen (most pesticide laden), it's best to look for the organic label.  It's actually one of the more expensive items in my budget this week, the entire head of celery cost over four dollars, but the flavor is better and with organic you don't need to worry about eating pesticide residues.

This recipe is budget friendly, even if you get high end celery. You don't need to buy organic, but I find it creepy to eat conventional vegetables and fruits if it harbors more pesticides. 

The split peas came from the Grocery Outlet, however, and cost less than a dollar, and I still have half left. That means the main ingredient was less than 50 cents.  

And potatoes. . . well, you know you can find always find potato bargains.  And even at the farmers market, potatoes are a bargain.  (Plus the potatoes from the market taste better, and organic is hard to beat.)

We always have carrots on hand. Big bags of them, and the reason is My Cooking Assistant.  He doesn't demand much, but he's a vegetable snob. If he doesn't have a carrot a day, he might get cranky. It's often less expensive when you buy larger quantities of foods. And if you like carrots (and aren't allergic) they can go in just about everything. If you don't have carrots, sweet potatoes or squash will also do.

I found the savory smoky maple tempeh bacon at a local natural foods store.

Finish with lemon juice. You don't need to use the whole lemon, but adding lemon is like a sunny day without the sun.  But then maybe you only get that when you live in the Northwest.

Smokey Split Pea Soup
(Serves 4)

1 cup shiitaki mushrooms, though stems removed, sliced
1to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onon, medium dice
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
4 strips tempeh bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 or 2 red potatoes, diced
1 heaping cup split peas
4 cups water
1 dried chipotle chile pepper
1 bay leaf
1 to 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
1 cup almond or coconut milk (optional)
1 or 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
Sea salt to taste
A drizzle of agave nectar (optional)
1 cup chopped parsley

1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat.  Add shiitaki mushrooms.  Stir and cook until they soften.

2. Add olive oil, onion and red pepper flakes.  Stir and cook until onions begin to brown.  Add carrot, celery and pressed garlic.  Stir and cook for a few minutes, then add tempeh bacon and cook until it browns. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes.

3. Add split peas, water, chipotle chile, bay leaf, and lemon zest.  Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add almond or coconut milk, if desired.  Season to taste with lemon and sea salt.  Add a drizzle of agave nectar if desired to balance the lemon tones.   

4. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. 

1 comment:

Miz Helen said...

Your Smoky Split Pea Soup looks wonderful, I love the combination of this recipe. Thank you so much for helping us celebrate Three Years at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back soon!
Miz Helen