Monday, December 1, 2014

Vegan Split Pea Soup

I think Mark and I both have the idea that one day we will blog more regularly. We have exciting events going on in our lives all the time so it would be nice to have a bit of an online journal.... But, it's not a priority yet apparently. I think both of us have the crazy notion that we need to finish writing about our epic year abroad before we can carry on writing about our day to day lives.

Sooooo, we've been thinking it would be fun to catalog the types of foods we eat. Partly for ourselves, to remember good recipes, and partly for our friends and family who are always asking, "What do you eat?" Seriously though, we work off the cuff so often that when we create something really delightful in the kitchen we want to remember how to make it again. Mark is always asking me to write down exactly how we made something, and I always say, "Oh, I'll remember..." Do I?? No.

Tonight we made some split pea soup in the pressure cooker inspired by Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan. She became one of our favorite food writers during a period when we were cooking without oils and fats, and we still enjoy her recipes today. I had a fever last night and most of the day today and really felt like having a homemade soup. This ended up hitting the spot; it was very healing. So, this is an approximation of what we created:

Split Pea Soup

2 Onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil
Zest from 1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Dried Ginger
3 tablespoons Garlic (about 8-10 cloves), chopped
Juice from 1 Lemon
2 1/4 cups Split Peas
1 Butternut Squash, chopped into 1" pieces/cubes
4 Carrots, sliced crosswise into 1/2" slices
5 Celery Stalks, sliced crosswise into 1/2" slices
2 tablespoons Mild Curry Powder
6 cups water

Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 bunch Kale
2 large handfuls Spinach
1/4 cup Sherry, optional (I used cream sherry)

Saute the onions in a pressure cooker pot using water as needed. When onion are translucent, pull them to the side of the pot and add the cumin, mustard seeds, and oil and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the spices begin to pop. Add lemon zest, ginger, garlic, and lemon juice and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently and adding water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Add split peas, squash, carrots, celery, curry powder, and water to pot and stir to combine. Lock lid in place and bring to high pressure. Begin timing as soon as soup is up to high pressure and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally. Add salt and pepper to taste and use a hand blender to roughly blend about 1/3 or so of the soup. Add the kale, spinach, and sherry, if using.

The great thing about this soup was the subtle sweetness that came from the combination of mild curry powder and the sherry. Also, there are really just a few ingredients, yet this soup is so flavorful, and it came together really quickly. I could see spicing this up a bit with chipotle powder or chilies in adobo sauce perhaps. This was a great way to use the huge butternut squash we had out on our counter for the past couple of weeks.

Verdict:  Will we make it again? Yes.

Mark & Michelle

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