Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Split Pea, Carrot, and Cannellini Bean Soup

Hi! I am back...just one day after my last post! :)  And I'm back with a soup recipe that I made last night for the first time and just loved! As I've said, I have all sorts of recipes on deck to share with you, but a few people have asked me already about this soup, so I wanted to get it out to you sooner than later. All the other recipes will have to wait a little longer still...

The inspiration for this split pea, carrot, and cannellini bean soup came from both a food blog and a couple of my own cookbooks that I was browsing. The initial recipe that I followed, generally speaking, can be found here. As you can see, this recipe is for a vegetarian soup - no ham bone required as is the case in many traditional split pea soup recipes. I did not make it fully vegetarian, however, since I used chicken broth in mine. But you could easily use vegetable broth if you wanted! I decided to also add the carrots and beans after looking at a few other soup recipes that contained various veggies and other ingredients.

To begin, you cook a couple sliced onions in olive oil on the stove. I decided to add carrots too; I used approximately four large carrots, peeled and chopped. As you can see here, I cooked the carrots with the onions in the beginning.

After cooking the onion and carrots for just a few minutes, I added about five cups of chicken broth (low sodium) and about two and a half cups of rinsed split peas (the recipe calls for just two cups). 

This mixture is brought to a boil and then left to simmer for about 20 or 25 minutes. With about five to 10 minutes left to simmer, I added a drained/washed can of cannellini beans for an extra punch of protein and fiber! The original recipe didn't call for the beans...

When the soup is done simmering, you then puree it in a blender in batches (just like the technique I used in my homemade tomato soup). At this point, I did add a bit more water because it was a little too thick to blend well on its own. To each half of the soup, I probably added 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water when blending.

And then...voila! You have delicious, pureed split pea soup!

This made a lot too, friends! I'd guess it made about 8 to 10 servings.

A few of my own thoughts on the soup... I am glad I decided to add broth instead of just water. Although it still may have been yummy with just the water, I do think a lot of the great flavor I tasted in the soup came from the addition of the broth. The carrots and beans were fun additions as well. You can probably add other veggies too....spinach? broccoli? It's up to you - have fun experimenting! I really enjoyed the thicker consistency of this soup, but if you wanted it thinner, you could simply add more water when you're blending it. Oh, and I also added some garlic powder and thyme during the simmer (I didn't have fresh garlic, sadly). My final version also had some small bits of carrot in it, which added a nice texture. The bowl of soup I had for dinner kept me full all evening too....gotta love a filling, healthy meal!

Serve it up with your favorite crackers or bread, and enjoy!! :)

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