When you start with the 3 most vital vegetables in any cook’s pantry, one thing is guaranteed to be in every pot – flavour, flavour and more flavour – and not just any flavour – deep, rich, complex, can’t-get-it-any-other-way flavour! And that’s what pretty much happens when the first things on your board are onions, carrots & celery! And of the 100’s of possible outcomes, it’s easy to see how entire cultures have built their national cuisines atop these 3 simple ingredients – and one of the very first outcomes was split pea soup, which has been doled out in Europe for centuries, 100’s of them – let’s just say the pyramid builders scarfed it back on their lunch breaks! Fast forward a few 1000 years and we’re still scarfing it back – with or without the ham, and there’s as many variations as you can imagine – I’ve got you started with a few switch-ups below.
Split pea soup is a classic, gotten more exposure as soup-of-the-day than the Kardashians have in “reality”, and thankfully, is a heckuva’ lot easier to digest! So start creating flavour like you know what you’re doing – because you do! Trust the zillions of belly’s that’ve come before and kept split pea soup on the menu since man was hunkered down over a pile of bricks, throwing a few pyramids together!
1. Get the holy trinity diced up.
2. Get them in a hot pot with a little olive oil.
3. Measure your split peas and get your bay leaves ready – the only aromatic at this classic party!
4. Give your peas a rinse.
5. Get your stock ready, I use bouillon paste.
6. And that involves water.
7. Stir in the bouillon – and you’ve now got stock!
8. Add the rinsed split peas to the pot.
9. Then the stock.
10. Add the precious bay leaves and give it a good stir.
11. On goes the lid.
12. Now I’m using a pressure cooker and that’s for 12 minutes and then I put it on to slow cook for a couple of hours which seems to bring some real love to the pot.
13. And this is what you’ll find before you give it a stir.
14. If you’re using ham or anything else for that matter, dice it up – if not, it’s ready to go.
15. Stir in the ham.
16. And it’s ready to serve.
1. Heat up a stock pot or get out your slow cooker. Peel, cut into small dice and sauté the following in a little olive oil until soft:
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 ribs of celery
- 1-2 onions
2. Add the following to the sautéed vegetables, cover & simmer for 2-3 hours until the peas are tender:
- 1.5 – 2 cups split peas, rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-5 cups stock
3. Give it a good stir and add if using:
- 2 cups ham, diced
- salt & pepper to taste
Soup’s done – serve as is or over your favourite pasta, rice or potatoes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a shake of cayenne pepper or smoky paprika.
- Switch up the cooked meat stirred in at the end of cooking – meatballs, diced pork or chicken, sliced sausages
- Switch up the liquid – vegetable, chicken or beef stock, tomato juice, stir in a can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- Add dried herbs at the beginning of cooking – oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, herbes de provence or a bouquet garnis
- Add chopped fresh herbs at the end – sage, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, cilantro
- Add a teaspoon or two of a spice or herb blend in lieu of other flavourings to create a signature soup:
- moroccan spice mix • herb & spice blend • bbq rub recipes • cajun blend
- chinese 5-spice powder • curry blends 101 • dry rub recipes & tips
- greek blend • herbes de provence • italian mix • quatre épices blend
- sloppy joe mix • taco blend
split pea soup switch-ups
- curried split pea soup
- dutch split pea soup
- french-canadian split pea soup
- german split pea soup
- greek split pea soup
- indian-style split pea soup
- italian split pea soup
- mexican split pea soup
- slow cooker split pea soup
- spinach & split pea soup
- split pea & cabbage soup
- split pea soup with ham hocks
- split pea & mushroom soup
- split pea soup with shiitake & star anise
- sweet coconut split pea soup
- vegan split pea soup
- yellow split pea soup