This is the first of two recipes that I’ll be testing and reviewing from Levana Kirschenbaum’s The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.
The split pea soups I’ve tasted until now have been, well, very pea-tasting. While that isn’t a bad thing, this version shows me that there’s more to pea soup than the peas. And that’s my favorite thing about it: the undercurrent of veggies that’s just beyond the dominant pea flavor. Onion, celery, parsley, and carrots aren’t strong players on their own, but together they take this soup beyond a single note. By the way, no soup mix, though no surprise there. After all, this cookbook is based on fresh, healthy ingredients, so that would be kind of against the rules.
The most unusual ingredient in the soup is turmeric, and I actually bought some (first time!) just for this recipe. Next time, I’ll probably use more of it to see if I can taste it more clearly in the final dish.
Recipe at a glance:
- Accessible ingredients? Totally.
- Multiple steps required? Chopping is kept to a minimum since it’ll all be blended at the end anyway. The most tedious part of the prep is peeling the celery, which Levana says to do to remove the stringiness.
- Left with lots of dirty dishes? Nothing crazy.
- Taste worth the effort? Yes, yes.
- Make again? I would make this again (with more turmeric), but because it’s more expensive than my default pea soup, it will probably be a once-in-awhile dish.
Barely tweaked from The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen
Yield: 12 servings
- 2½ + 1/8 cup (1 pound) dried split peas
- 2 large onions, cut in chunks
- 5 medium carrots, cut in chunks
- 8 stalks celery, ribs peeled and cut in chunks; leaves washed
- 1 bunch parsley, stems discarded and leaves washed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 12 cups water
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Everything but the black pepper goes into a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Blend completely with an immersion blender. Add pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
Photo note: Wondering about the croutons? I defrosted some leftover challah, cubed it, rubbed in a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with salt, and toasted for 15 minutes at 375 F/190 C.
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