This delicious and cheap potage might not be famous, but it certainly should be! My friend Liza came over this morning to teach my son how to make a tasty, easy, nutritious and cheap soup for his first year away at university, and we decided to document the proceedings. I can just picture this thick soup as the centrepiece of a rustic meal, alongside whole wheat bread and a fresh leafy green salad, with a chunk of some tasty cheese on the side.
For a traditional soup, use green split peas. For a slightly different, more earthy flavour, use yellow peas. The yellow pea version will lend itself wonderfully to experimentation with different flavour profiles, such as curry or North African spices. Have fun, play around, and let me know if you find any wonderful new combinations.
This can probably be made easily with a slow cooker. After the vegetables are sauteed in a frying pan, add them, along with the peas, water and spices, to a slow cooker, turn on, and ignore for several hours. The texture might be a bit mushier, but the soup won’t burn and will be ready when you get home after a long day.
For a place to start with different flavours, try using 1 -2 tsp curry powder in place of the other spices. Top with a dollop of yogurt, some sultana raisins and a sprinkling of sliced banana.
Liza’s (should-be) Famous Pea Soup
- 3TBSP vegetable or olive oil
- 1 largish onion, diced small
- 3 stalks celery, diced small
- Pinch salt
- 3 carrots, sliced medium-thin
- 1 parsnip, sliced medium-thin
- 1 red bell pepper, in smallish chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 500g dried split peas – green or yellow
- 8 cups water, plus more
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ TBSP salt
- 2 tsp dill
- Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. When hot, add the onions, celery and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the celery is soft.
Add the carrots, parsnip and bell pepper, along with the garlic. Continue frying until the carrots start to soften.
Now add the peas, water, and spices. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer over low heat, covered, for about an hour or until the peas are very soft. You do want some texture. Add more water to get the consistency you like, probably one or two cups more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.