Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Smoky Split-Pea Soup With Greens

I made this soup last week on a whim, using roasted peppers and ancho chili powder for a double-shot of the smoky flavor ordinarily supplied by ham hocks. It turned out wonderfully - possibly the best split-pea soup I've ever had, which is exciting to a split-pea-soup-lover like myself! The beet greens were great, but chard, spinach, or kale would work too. It's even better served the next day, and I bet it would freeze well, too. Not sure on the yield here, but we got about six servings out of the batch.

Smoky Split-Pea Soup With Greens

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup minced onion (about 2 small)
1 cup carrot, chopped into 1/4" half-moons
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. ancho chile powder
1 roasted Poblano pepper, diced
1 roasted Anaheim (or other mild) pepper, diced
zest of 1 small lemon (about 1 tbsp)
4 cups stock
2 cups water
4 cups split peas
1 bunch greens (I used beet), about 4 cups torn-up leaves
sea salt and lemon juice to taste
minced parsley (optional, for garnish)
lemon zest curls (optional, for garnish)

Heat oil, reserving about 2 teaspoons, over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until onions begin to soften; add carrot and cook until onions are completely soft, but do not allow onions to brown.

Push onion and carrot to the sides of the pan and add reserved oil and garlic to center; combine garlic with oil and cook until garlic is aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add cumin and ancho chili powder and stir into garlic for about 10 seconds, until aromatic; add lemon zest and diced peppers and stir into carrot and onion mixture until everything is combined.

Pour in stock and water. Add split peas and bring to a boil; turn heat down and simmer, covered, until split peas are completely soft and broken down, about 30 minutes.

Uncover pot and add greens, simmering until completely wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice, allow to stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes, and serve, garnishing each bowl with minced parsley and a couple of lemon zest curls, if desired.


Michael Az. said...

I've been reading this blog for at least a year and only just now realized it's you! Nice work.

Erik said...

Wow...I never thought to add anything spicy to split pea soup, but the use of ancho is absolutely inspired, the way it plays off the smoke in the ham hock. I wonder if smoked paprika would be as good, if you wanted to avoid the heat?
I did a lot of experimentation with split pea soup, as I was given 400 pounds of split peas once! Eventually they started to sprout and we had to feed them to the farm animals :)

pollyanna cowgirl said...

YUM. As it is no longer 90 degrees every day here, I might give this a try. Also, your new banner is beautiful. Can I have a jar? xo.