Monday, April 14, 2014

Almost Emeril's Split Pea Soup

I found a basic recipe for Emeril's Split Pea Soup that I wanted to try Here is the original recipe.  I,  of course, decided to change it up just a bit by omitting the salt,adding diced carrots and ham, and using a lot less oil. I also kept some texture to my soup and did not puree it all the way like Emeril did. I don't care for pureed soups. Instead, I need more texture. I also used less onion and garlic.

Almost Emeril's Split Pea Soup

1 cup diced onion 
Spritz of olive oil (I use a misto)
A few generous pepper shakes of black pepper
3/4 c diced carrot
1 good shake crushed red pepper
3/4 Tbsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf 
1 1/4 pounds dried spit peas*
8 c low sodium chicken broth 
A leftover hunk of ham
1 c skim milk

Rinse and drain peas. Pick through them to weed out any bad ones.
 In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add the onion carrot, and hunk of ham if using. (I normally wouldn't have thought to use this ingredient, but I still had a little ham frozen from leftovers at Christmas.) Then add a little bit of water to your pot for sweat sauteing. Next, spritz the top of the veggies with an olive oil misto if you have one. (Using the misto is great because it allows me to use only a fine olive oil mist making it easier for me to actually control my oil better. If you don't have one, that's okay, but a misto makes adding the oil so easy.) Season the veggie mixture with black pepper and a little crushed red pepper. Saute for a few minutes. Next add garlic, bay leaf, and split peas. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. The peas should be tender and breaking apart.  Let the soup cool slightly, and then add the milk and stir to combine.  Remove bay leaf and ham hunk if using. Put about half of the pea and carrot mixture and some juice in a blender and blend till smooth.  Add the pureed pea mixture back into the pot and stir to combine. Serve hot or cool a little while longer before storing in the fridge.  Serve with crusty bread and a little garnish of salt and hot sauce if desired.

This recipe gets 5 spoons. Both DH and I LOVED it and he said it was the best split peas soup he's ever had.(That's high praise)  Thanks, Emeril, for a basic recipe I could work with to make it more of my own. Check out all of Emeril's recipes because he really does rock!

*I used 1 # of split peas, however, because I didn't plan to puree the entire pot of soup, it didn't seem like I had enough peas to make it thick enough for me. Because I thought it was too thin,  I ended up using about 2 Tbsp of whole wheat pastry flour blended with some of the juice to thicken the soup base, and it worked really well. Next time, I will use 1 1/4 # of split peas for a little more bulk.

I think this soup could be made vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken, omitting the ham altogether, and using a nondairy milk substitute. 

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