Split pea soup is a perfect standby
By Diane Rossen Worthington
Published: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 8:56 p.m.
Split soup is satisfying for cold days and evenings. I prefer using yellow peas, which I find to be prettier to look at and more delicate in flavor than the green variety. They are a perfect backdrop for more assertive ingredients like bacon and spices.
Split peas are a pea variety grown specifically for drying. They are often used for soup making because they act as a thickener and almost fall apart as they cook. Unlike beans, split peas don't need soaking, making this soup a perfect soup standby.
You'll be surprised at how harmonious the sweet yam and bold cumin flavors are in this soup. If you add more broth and thin it out, you could serve this soup as a first course.
Serve it alongside a green salad tossed with an assertive lemon vinaigrette. Bread is a must for this rustic meal. Serve sliced pears and sharp cheddar cheese for a perfect ending.
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking, and also a James Beard awardwinning radio-show host.
Split Pea Soup With Yam and Cumin
Check for and discard pebbles and then rinse the peas in a large strainer before cooking.
For added flavor, add a peeled and diced parsnip or winter squash when you add the carrots.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium-size yam, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups yellow or green split peas, rinsed and picked over
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 bacon slices or small ham hock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
6 strips bacon, for garnish
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the celery, carrots and yam, and saute for another 3 minutes or until just slightly softened.
Add the split peas, broth, the 2 bacon slices or ham hock, salt, black pepper and cumin, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Partially cover and cook for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Remove the bacon slices or ham hock.
While the soup is cooking, place the 6 bacon strips in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until crisp on each side, for about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel and drain. Break into pieces and reserve.
When the soup is finished cooking, coarsely puree the soup, using a hand blender right in the pot, just until the desired texture is reached. Taste for seasoning.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the crisp bacon pieces. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
(The soups can be prepared up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated. You may also freeze the soup. Adjust the seasonings when you reheat the frozen soup.)
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- East Allegheny counselors receive national recognition
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- Patience pays off as starting pitcher Volquez gets 1st win for Pirates
- Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
- Steel Valley Bicycle Tour will raise funds for trail maintenance
- Crews fill Duquesne sinkhole
- Wages have soared in Pittsburgh, but economy appears to have stalled
- Markosek supports McCord for governor
- Former Steelers player appeals court ruling on Shadyside event venue
- Body found on train tracks in West End
- Officials in North Versailles fed up littering