Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vegetarian pea soup

Split pea soup – people either love it or they hate it. I’ve had my fair share of split pea soup in the past (even post “The Exorcist”), but I’ve never been impressed – especially by the appearance of it. The color alone is dull and unappetizing, and I’ve had bowls that simply taste like warm pea smoothies with some random ham chunks floating in them. So, when my roommate’s mother sent her a vegetarian-friendly version of the soup, I was extra skeptical. You mean to tell me that you omit the tiniest bit of flavor (the ham) from the soup? Perhaps I’ve been cursed with bad bowls of the sludge, but a giant bowl of pureed peas sans ham did not really appeal to me – at first.

Once my roommate sent me the recipe to review, however, I was pleasantly taken aback by the ingredients – especially the fresh cinnamon and whole cloves. How would these ingredients mesh together, and how would they compensate for the lack of meat?

Let’s just say they compensated very well. The end result was a thick, creamy bowl of split pea soup that had squashed all pre-conceived notions of the ham version.

The dish was full of a “wow - what is that?” flavor thanks to the unique ingredients aforementioned, and my lovely roommate added enough black pepper to give the soup a necessary kick.

On the side, we enjoyed some warmed Afghan bread that my roommate drizzled with oil and fresh chunks of garlic (we picked it up at Russo's).

Vegetarian Pea Soup
Yields: 6-7 servings

1 lb. package of Split Green Peas
2 medium onions
5 – 6 cups water
1 teaspoon all spice
1 small piece of a whole cinnamon stick

Directions: cook the above ingredients in a slow cooker for about 3 hours. Then add:

3 – 4 carrots, cut up
3 stalks celery, cut up
5 – 6 whole cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Continue to cook in slow cooker another 3 to 4 hours, or until peas "mush up" to the desired consistency.

Needless to say, ham was not missed in this recipe, and I will probably never go back to split pea and ham soup. The variation of flavors and thick, meaty texture of this version were just so damn good – and addicting. I had two heaping bowls full for dinner that night.

1 comment:

  1. sounds yummy.... picture however, still not so appetizing :( lol