I think we can all agree on the fact that I was a strange child.
An oddball ~ strange, sensitive, and both saucy and sharp.
And, as I’ve grown older, or as Brian likes to refer to the fact that I’ve reached “advanced maternal age,” we can also agree that I may be continually developing my somewhat peculiar panache.
All of that aside, my true kid-self exuded all forms of weirdness at the simple, yet all to common expression of my absolute adoration of split pea soup.
“Thick as Fog Split Pea Soup” made my heart flutter as a child, believe it or not.
And while all the other college kids left home with care packages of cookies and freshly laundered towels, my weekend bags were filled with individually frozen cartons of Mom’s amazing split pea soup. (By the way, although I can take credit for many things in the kitchen, sometimes it really does just taste better when Mom makes it).
The way the aroma of slow cooked soup fills the whole house and easily nurtures a tired (or even just a plain old kid) soul, brings back such fond memories of youth – albeit full of oddities.
Because of all of the happiness I have associated with both big and little bowls of tasty green peas, the somewhat less than appealing appearance of the brownish-green mush never even crossed my mind – until recently.
Thus, I accepted the challenge of creating a work of art in relation to split pea soup.
Bright, crispy, colorful carrot “chips,” crunchy sage “croutons,” and salty walnut chunks make this more than just split pea soup.
More Than Split Pea Soup
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 large celery stalks, diced
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbs. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. flaked sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups dried green split peas
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 large carrot, very thinly sliced
2 tsp. fresh sage, minced
1 Tbs. walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp. flaked sea salt
Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add carrots and celery, as well as the mustard, oregano, thyme, turmeric, sea salt, and pepper, and cook until all veggies are throughly coated in spices, things are amazingly fragrant, and you’ve created quite a mirepeaux.
Transfer the veggie and spice mixture to a slow cooker (crockpot) and add split peas and broth. Turn to low and slow cook 4-6 hours. Alternatively, sauté the veggies in a large pot or dutch oven, add peas and broth, and cook on the stove top for at least 1 hour – the peas should be very, very soft and the mixture “as thick as fog.”
Meanwhile, in a small fry pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil and add the carrots and sage. Sauté until golden and crispy. Add walnuts and salt.
Serve the soup topped with the crispy, crunchy, colorful accouterments.
Feel free to use Bean Cuisine “Thick as Fog Split Pea Soup” mix, if you can find it!