Monday, October 6, 2008

Chunky Split Pea Soup

I've always loved soups. Having a bowl of soup always reminds me of playing in the snow as a kid and having soup to warm up afterwards. There isn't much snow here (a bit early anyway) but it is cold and miserable outside so soup is a great warming option.

Another interesting thing about soup is that apparently eating soup is a great way to lose weight. I think the reason is two fold. One reason (and the most commonly heard one) is that the water in the soup fills you up more quickly than if you had eaten all the ingredients on their own. The second reason is that most soups are full of vegetables which contain fiber and therefore are very filling per calorie.

This chunky split pea soup is loaded with vegetables and can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the ham. I like to make this chunky by only half blending the soup but you could easily blend it futher to make a more smooth soup.

Chunky Split Pea Soup
250/9 oz Grams dried split peas (either green or yellow)
2 carrots
2 ribs of celery
1 leek
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup frozen peas
Cooked ham diced (optional)

Rinse the split peas in cold water. Place the split peas in a large pot, cover with enough water for the water to be approximately 2 inches over the top of the peas. Boil for 20 minutes, skim the water as needed. Meanwhile roughly dice the carrots, celery and leek. After the split peas have cooked for 20 minutes pour vegetable into the water and add further water to just cover all the vegetables. Add in the bay leaves, cumin and salt and pepper and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Using a blender blend half of the soup. Add the diced ham and frozen peas and cook another 5 minutes.

Cooking time:40 minutes
Active time: 15 minutes