My mom’s split pea soup is memorable – as in some of my girlfriends are still after the recipe. I bought a bag of split peas figuring if I had them, I’d make the soup. I pulled out my copy of Mom’s recipe and grew tired just reading: soak the peas overnight? Make a roux? Pick a ham bone? There had to be an option out there that I could make during naptime (which is becoming “chase my 3 year old back into her room for an hour because she isn’t napping anymore – time”). This recipe was a win in every possible way. It was a breeze to make, made the house smell heavenly, made my husband super happy on a cold night, and was CRAZY healthy. Dried peas are wonderfully high in fiber and protein, plus several vital minerals that you’re likely not getting enough of, and all for virtually zero fat. If you’re going to go meat free occasionally (which is a great idea), you can’t just eat a bagel and call it a day; split peas and lentils are in the same family (legumes) and are foods that you should try to incorporate into your diet weekly (at least).
Now, this soup is green. There is a high possibility that your children will tell you that they “don’t like dinner” and “want to eat peanut butter and jelly” with just a quick glance. Encourage them to have a bite, and then don’t force the issue. They might like what they taste and if not, seeing mom and dad eat up happily might be all that they need to give it a go when you make it a second time (which you will, because it’s awesome).
Easy Split Pea Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 c. diced carrots
1 c. red skinned potatoes, diced (skin on)
1 lb. dried split peas, rinsed well * (if buying in bulk, this about 2 1/3 cups)
8 c. low-sodium chicken broth
*Place peas in a colander and rinse with cold water for about 30 seconds.
1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large soup pan over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, oregano, salt, and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes or until onions are golden and softened.
2. Add carrots, potatoes, peas, and chicken broth. Place the lid on the pot and bring to boil over high heat.
3. When mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low and remove the lid. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until peas are tender. Puree with stick blender or transfer mixture to blender/food processor, blend, and return to pot.