I have a sick little girl in my house today, and she requested her favorite soup for supper. Which is excellent, because this soup is highly nutritious and loaded with all sorts of veggies. It’s simple, clean ingredients are nourishing… and cheap!
Here’s what you’ll need…
The first step is to chop your onion(s). I used one and a half organic yellow onions, which gave me about 1 cup chopped.
We like to compost our veggie scraps (along with egg shells and coffee grounds…anything organic). I keep a big bowl under the sink and my husband takes it out to the compost pile in the evenings. It is a great way to eliminate waste, reduce your garbage bill, and is excellent fertilizer for our garden.
Heat about a tablespoon of organic canola oil (you can use olive oil, safflower, or whatever you have on hand) in a large stock pot (mine is 8 quarts) over medium to medium-low heat. Add your onions and a few bay leaves.
Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions are tender.
While the onions are cooking, peel 3 or 4 cloves of garlic. If you have a garlic press, like I do, you can use that, otherwise you will need to mince the peeled garlic.
I like to pile the cooked onions on one side of the pot and crush my garlic on top, so it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan. Garlic browns and turns bitter VERY quickly.
Now, make sure you have a cup of water available.
Once all of the garlic is added to the pan, and your water is ready, stir the onion, bay leaf, garlic mixture together for about 30 seconds, until you are able to smell the garlic.
Add the water immediately.
You can now measure out the rest of the water will need, and add that. I added an additional 7 cups of water.
Add 3 cups of dried split peas. I use organic peas from from the bulk section of out natural foods market. They are much fresher, and tend to taste way better than the bagged variety from the supermarket shelf. I have also noticed that the fresher, bulk beans take longer to cook, so you may need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Next add your herbs and seasonings. I use 2-3 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and a teaspoon of dried thyme. (I also add dried basil, but wait until I add my carrots and onions to add it, as basil loses its flavor if it is cooked too long).
Bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.
This is what my soup looked like after 2 hours.
You can see that the peas are starting to fall apart and get soft.
Chop 3-4 carrots and 2-3 stalks of celery (I used organic celery hearts, which are smaller, so I used 3 of them)
Add them to your pot of soup.
Now, add 2 teaspoons of dried basil. You may taste your soup to see if it needs anything, salt or perhaps more pepper.
Continue to simmer for another hour, or until vegetables are tender and the soup has reached a desirable consistency. I cook mine with the lid on for the first half hour, then take the lid off and increase the heat slightly to thicken the soup. Remember to keep stirring every once and a while so the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Allow to cool for a bit before serving,
Now you have a simple, delicious, economical and very hearty soup! Serve with a slice of freshly baked, clean whole wheat bread and whipped organic butter. Is your mouth watering yet?
Vegan Split Pea Soup
1 Tbsp organic canola oil
1-2 organic yellow onions (1 cup chopped)
2-3 bay leaves
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
7-8 cups water
2-3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cups organic dried split peas
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped (leaves included to add flavor)
2 tsp dried basil