Recipe Inauguration – Yellow Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

I often think about this blog and all of the things I would like to do with it, but I’ve gotten a little intimidated by all the great blogs out there with their beautiful photography and well-written entries.  One of my many hopes for the New Year, though, is that I will accept what I can do when I can do it, rather than waiting until I can do something perfectly and completely, which pretty much translates to never.  So, in that spirit, here I go – I’ll just start by sharing recipes and thoughts and see where it takes me. 

While the Farmers’ Market is closed, I’ve been thinking that I want to take my friend Millicent’s suggestion and start “Soup Night”, which basically means I’ll make an organic, vegetarian, and (hopefully) delicious soup and bread one night each week and sell it to whomever wants a quick, simple, and healthy meal for their family, made by someone else.  As I’ve thought about it more and more, I’ve been inspired to think about some new soup recipes.  So I started looking through a few of my favorite cookbooks for ideas and here is one of the recipes I came across.  

This is from a cookbook called Greens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers.  I had never heard of it or its authors, but I received it as a gift from my friend Kris and I really love it for the simplicity and yumminess of its recipes…

For some reason, I very rarely follow a recipe exactly – I came pretty close with this one, but I did make a couple changes.  Instead of the basil, thyme and celery seed, I used Herbs de Provence (probably just a half teaspoon) and, since I was making sweet potato fries and wasn’t sure when I would make the soup, I cut some in a dice (without peeling) and roasted them until just slightly soft and then saved them for the recipe.  Also, I highly recommend the umeboshi plum vinegar over the red wine as seasoning…

  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed well
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 4 cups spinach leaves, washed, drained, and chopped
  • salt to taste
  • umeboshi plum vinegar (or red wine) to taste, optional

Heat oil and sauté onion until it begins to brown, then add the leek and continue to sauté until it softens.  Add cumin and cook another minute. 

Add carrots, celery, split peas, water, bay leaves, and herbs.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer on medium low, partially covered for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until split peas are totally soft.  (I did mine in a crockpot, plan on 4-5 hours to slow cook the soup).  Add the sweet potato and cook for another 20 minutes, or until soft.  Add spinach and cook until it reaches your desired texture.  Season to taste with salt and umeboshi plum vinegar or wine.   

Enjoy!  Until next time…be well and happy

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