At the beginning of every year I try to do a little pantry de-hoarding. I’m historically a lot better at this in the kitchen than in my bathroom, if this is any indication. But when I was taking stock of my jars in January, I realized that my split peas had been sitting on the shelf ever since I first moved into my apartment…3 years ago. If the time stamp wasn’t disconcerting enough, I picked up the bottle and noticed that the peas had developed a nice suntan, causing the front half of the jar to become a yellow ombre.
As any chronic hoarder will tell you, I hate being wasteful! So before doing what most good housekeepers would do, I took to instagram to make sure that I absolutely had to throw the peas out. My friends were horrified. But my fellow chefs told me to grab a ham hock and get cooking.
The pork sausages in my freezer had not fared as well as the peas, believe it or not, so as I disposed of them, I began getting to work on an easy vegetarian split pea soup with Indian spices. After a little longer soaking and simmering than usual, the pea soup ended up being perfect. And the depression era penny pincher in me (i.e. my Jewish half) was so thrilled that I had four meals for the week when there could have been none.
To brighten up these old musty peas, I topped the soup with some carrots and kale sauteed in coconut oil (I like this brand). The whole thing would make a great addition to your Farmer’s Market Challenge menu, and a very good meatless lunch for the week ahead.
I hope you’re all having a great month of healthy eating and cooking. If you’ve taken on any of the Gut Guilt experiments, let me know how they’re going below in the comments!
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Kale, Carrots and Curry
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 2 cups finely chopped kale about ½ a bunch
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups dried split green peas rinsed
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the carrot over medium-high heat until soft, 5 minutes. Add the kale and stir-fry until wilted, 3 minutes. Remove the veggies to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pot. Sauté the onion until translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, and salt. Cook one minute more.
Stir in the green peas and cover with the water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are soft, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion or stand blender until semi-smooth. Add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as necessary.
Ladle into bowls and top with the carrot-kale mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.