This is perfect comfort food with a cooking time that offers a good excuse to relax with friends. To boot, its filling, packed with protein, brimming with fiber, low in calories and fat, and freezes well.
4 to 6
2 cups (450 g) green split peas
6 to 7 cups (1410 to 1645 ml) water or vegetable stock
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
2 creamy yellow potatoes (such as Yukon gold or fingerlings), diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse split peas, checking for any impurities, such as stones or residue. Place all ingredients except salt and pepper in a soup pot, and bring to a simmer. Cover loosely and cook until peas are tender, 1 hour or longer. Check occasionally to make sure water has not completely evaporated. Heat should be low-medium.
The resulting soup should be thick and creamy, with the split peas quite broken down and mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND VARIATIONS
For creamier soup, puree in a food processor or blender. This is also a great soup for a slow cooker; add all ingredients, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
COMPASSIONATE COOKS' TIP
The liquid smoke (found near the barbecue sauce in your local grocery store) takes the place of the ham (!) that people have been known to add to their soup. Because it's the smoky and salty flavor that we desire (not pig!), the liquid smoke does the job perfectly! (Yes, I needed to use that many exclamation points.)
Excerpted from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. © Fair Winds Press 2009
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