Typical split pea soup is a thick and salty ham filled bowl of bloating sodium, nitrates and other additives that leach out of that processed meat as it simmers on the stove. Here, I offer my recipe for a much lighter soup by adding a little more water ( yes, water, because you don't really need a box of chicken broth to make good soup!)
Also, this is best made early in the day, or the day before you plan on serving it. The peas will become creamier and the soup a bit thicker after sitting for a while.
Enjoy a bowl of my Split Pea & Potato Soup with nothing more than a salad, crackers, or maybe a slice of bread for a truly wholesome meal.
Split Pea & Potato Soup
serves 6 generously
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, or other vegetable oil
3-4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, small diced
4 ribs of celery, small diced
4 large carrots, medium diced
1 1/2 tsp salt (add more later if needed)
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 lb dried split peas
9-10 cups water
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
3 medium red potatoes, cleaned, "eyes" removed, unpeeled and cubed into medium sized pieces
additional Salt & Pepper, if needed
In a stock pot, saute the garlic, onions, celery and carrots, in the olive oil, along with the salt; cover and "sweat" on a low simmer until cooked through. Do not brown the veggies. Add the bay leaves and the smoked paprika, stirring, and let it sit for a minute (off heat) to "bloom" the paprika flavor.
Back on the heat, add the split peas, water, thyme and marjoram. Bring it all up to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 40 minutes, very low, stirring every so often. After 40 minutes, add the potatoes and return to a simmer, cook covered for another 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper if desired.
This is best made early in the day and served after having a nice rest period when the split peas really break apart and get creamy. Next day is even better!