This is my fifth and final post for this month on "Soup". Split pea is a new ingredient for me and I have never tasted split pea soup before. The closest resemblance of a split pea dish that I tried, will be the Indian dal curry which comes with the serving of dosa. I wanted to learn more on healthier food and eating, and hence the idea of preparing split pea soup came to my mind.
Split peas (豌豆瓣) are high in protein, low in fat and a wonderful source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Just a bowl of this split pea soup with a little bread will make a satisfying healthy meal.
Split pea on its own is rather bland and tasteless, so you will need to use some stock to prepare the soup. Alternatively, I used a huge piece of ham bone (from last Christmas leftover) to prepare this soup. I have soaked the split peas for about 1 to 2 hours before cooking, as I am worried that the peas will not be cooked through easily. But, I realised that soaking is not really necessary, as I cooked this soup in a slow cooker over low heat for 5 to 6 hours. By dinner time, the peas have completely softened and dissolved into the soup. I did not even need to blend it at all. But if you are cooking the soup over a stove and wanted to shorten the cooking time, maybe pre-soaking the peas is necessary.
(serves 4 to 5)
350g split peas, washed and soaked
2 stalks celery, cut into small cubes
1 carrot, cut into small cubes
1 stalk leek, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried herbs and 2 bay leaves
1 ham bone (or use stock)
1.5 to 1.8 litre water or stock (adjust to your preference. If you did not pre-soak the peas, may need to add more water than this.)
1) Heat up a soup pot and add 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir fry the celery and carrot for about a minute, before adding the leek and onion. Stir well to combine. Add in the garlic, dried herbs and bay leaves. Stir fry till aromatic.
2) Add in the split peas. Stir and add in water (or stock) and ham bone. Bring to boil and transfer to slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on high heat first, to bring the content to boil. Then change to low heat and cook for about another 5 hours, or till peas softens. Alternatively, you could set the slow cooker to auto mode. If cooking on stove, bring to boil, then adjust to low heat and simmer till peas are cooked and softened.
3) In the middle of cooking, take out the ham bone to remove scraps of meat on the bone. Shred the meat and set aside. Put the bone back into the soup. When soup is almost done, remove and discard the bone. Add the shredded meat into the soup and add salt/pepper to taste.
I served the split pea soup with Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Bread Stick. I especially baked these bread sticks to go with the soup. For the appetiser, I prepared a refreshing combination of seedless grapes with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper, lightly-tossed in lemon juice and olive oil dressing.
Happy Weekend to all!