Simple – Split Pea Soup

I like simple. Simple pleasures, simple life, simple food. Simple is flexible. Go with the flow. Simple is something you can make when it’s 2am and you just got home from a late night at the bars and, suddenly, have this weird craving for soup. Yes sir, simple is my friend.

Split Peas

Take this recipe as a gentle suggestion on the path towards deliciousness; with many side trails to take and trees to climb. Don’t like the green color? Go with yellow, or half and half (I tossed in some leftover yellow). Tarragon not your thing? Go with thyme, or rosemary, or whatever fresh leftover herbs you have sitting in your fridge, otherwise destined for the trash. Go nuts. Hooray simple.

Split Pea Blend

Simple Split Pea Soup

1 onion; chopped
1 large carrot; chopped
1 celery stalk; chopped
1 russet potato; chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups split peas; rinsed and drained
4 or more cups of stock (or water)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt to taste

Heat your pot medium and sweat the onion, carrot and celery until the onion is transclucent. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until everything is soft and smells (tastes!) delicious. Remove from heat and let cool a bit and either blend with an immersion blender or in a standard drink blender a few cups at a time. Enjoy.

Hooray For Soup

Soup. Is. Awesome. That’s right, I said it. I am no longer the reckless youth I once was. I no longer eat what can be barely considered food. I no longer leave a pot of Campbell’s Soup sitting on the stove over night only to eat it the next day. No, today I am mature. Sophisticated. And sophisticated, mature people (read: OLD) eat mature things, like soup.

The Essential Mir Poix

It’s safe to say there is rarely a week that I don’t eat some kind of soup. It’s delicious (when done right), it’s healthy (when done right) and if you prepare a big enough pot it can last you the whole week (or you could freeze it, depending on the soup). This is usually want I do. Come the weekend I cook a pot of soup for lunch throughout the week. It’s also nice for a quick last minute dinner, but when you’re already eating the stuff once a day for a week already, the addition of it on the dinner menu gets old.

Sweating Our Mix Poix

One of my staples is lentil soup. Legumes (beans) are an excellent source of protein and lentils are the second highest source in the legume family (soy takes first). Lentils are also great because you can buy them dried (cheap) and don’t have to worry about softening them prior to cooking. This dish also demonstrates another great thing about soups: their flexibility and versatility. You can really do a lot to vary this recipe and chances are it’ll still come out delicious (unless you do something wacky like add peanut butter or cheese or something. i offer no guarantees if you go all “mad scientist” on this thing). This can really be considered a “base” recipe. I often up the veggie ratio. Go nuts with this one. And better yet, let us know how it turns out!

And yes, I totally acknowledge how visually unappealing this soup is.

Lentil Soup

Simple (Healthy!) Lentil Soup
adapted from Alton Brown

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion; chopped
1 carrot; chopped
1 celery stalk; chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
8 cups of water or broth (I normally use eight cups of water and some frozen stock, but bouillon cubes could also work)
10 oz of lentils; picked over, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (whole or stewed could also work in a pinch)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp pepper
salt to taste

Sweat the onions, carrots, celery and garlic with the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot for about 10 minutes. The onion should start appearing translucent.

Add everything but the salt (simple, huh?). Let simmer for 45 minutes. Add salt to taste. Done. Eat. Be full.