Did you know it's National Split Pea Soup Week? (Sadly, it's the last day for it.) The USA Dry Peas & Lentils Council sent me a bag of split peas (that was actually split, haha) to make a soup. They also sent along a really cute set of measuring spoons, an oven mitt, and a wooden spoon made in France!
I've made this recipe a few times before, though with lentils since that's how the original recipe goes. I figured with a longer cooking time the split peas would work out, and they did. Don't expect them to retain their shape, though, since the split peas won't. It makes for an excellent creamy soup, and you don't even need to puree it if you don't feel like it if the soup cooks long enough. It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Once Upon A Tart.
The highlight of this recipe is the blend of Indian spices in clarified butter and the rich and creamy coconut milk. Pair the two together with a split pea base and you've got a soup that's unlike any other split pea soups out there. If you're worried about the taste of the spices, don't be, as the coconut milk helps temper and meld the flavors.
To the recipe I added a pinch of kosher salt while the onions and garlic cooked, then 1 1/2-2 teaspoons kosher salt to the soup itself. I noticed the recipe didn't tell you to add salt at all, though I'm assuming they're basing it off the flavor of the chicken or vegetable stock you use. I like to make my own chicken stock. Observe:
One of my best stocks I've made, though I didn't rinse the chicken even after I thought it had a smell. It wasn't bad, I swear, and it didn't ruin the soup. Don't judge me.
Anyway, the flavor of the stock was mild, since I usually adjust seasonings in the soup itself, so don't be afraid to add some salt to the soup; it'll bring out the flavors in the recipe.
Recipe after the jump.
split pea soup with coconut milk and Indian spices
Recipe from Once Upon A Tart
Makes six servings
1 big yellow onion, diced fine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups green split peas, picked through and rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, clarified, or ghee
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
A pinch of nutmeg
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned coconut milk
- Saute the onions and garlic in the butter in a large soup pot over high heat, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. When the onions have begun to reduce in volume, about 5-10 minutes, lower the heat to medium, add the thyme and the turmeric, and continue sauteing, stirring from time to time for 10-15 more minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent.
- Add the stock and the split peas, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, until the split peas have broken into the broth.
- Warm the clarified butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper, and saute until the warmth from the butter brings out the aroma of the spices, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the clarified butter and spices to the soup. Stir in the coconut milk, and cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat, so the flavors blend together.