Split Pea Sunshine & Saffron Soup
1 cup dried yellow split peas, soaked
a pinch of saffron (approx. 20 threads), soaked
knob of coconut oil or ghee
¼ tsp. cayenne (optional)
¼ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. paprika
5 bay leaves
pinch of sea salt
2 large leeks, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 small Hokkaido (or any winter squash/pumpkin), cubed
4 carrots (set aside two), chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1. Pick over split peas to remove any stones or debris. Place them in a bowl and cover with water. If possible, let soak for up to 8 hours – if not, set them aside until you cook with them.
2. In a very small bowl or cup, place a pinch of saffron (approx. 20 threads) and cover with a couple tablespoons of hot water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes (set aside until you cook with it).
3. In a large stock pot heat the oil and add the spices and bay leaves, stirring frequently for a minute or so (watch carefully so they do not burn). Add leeks, garlic, pumpkin, and carrots. Stir to coat with spice mix. If the pot becomes dry, add a little water. Cook for 5-10 minutes until veggies begin to soften.
4. Drain and rinse split peas, add to the pot. Cover with stock, add saffron-water, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer.
*5. White the soup is simmering, cut out sun shapes with the carrots (this is totally optional, but fun. It also makes the soup very appealing for kids!). Pick out two very straight carrots. Wedge the entire length of your knife blade into the side of a carrot on a slight angle. Just beside that slice, wedge the knife blade in again at the opposite angle to meet the first cut (creating a very long triangular cut-out). Repeat all around the carrot, then slice thinly across the end of the carrot to make sun shapes. You will be able to get enough for the whole soup out of two carrots. Reserve a few for garnish. See photo for clarification.*
6. Once the peas are cooked through and soft, remove bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend on high until smooth (you can also use an upright blender). Thin with water if too thick. Add the juice of ½ lemon. Season to taste.
7. Add sun carrot shapes, simmer until softened (5 minutes). Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a couple carrot suns and a wedge of lemon juice.
Apparently may 26 is the national soup day! (Who knew..) But because we missed it we chose to honor the national soup day today instead..
Todays recipe (My favorite kind of soup!!)
For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance. Alternatively, the onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 3 pieces
- 6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Make sure you get Yellow)
- Table salt
- 2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (They recommend Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth )
- 2 cups beef broth (They recommend Pacific Beef Broth)
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme , tied with kitchen twine
- 1 bay leaf
- Ground black pepper
For the soup:
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees
- Generously spray the inside of a heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with a nonstick cooking spray. Place the butter in the pot and add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, for 1 hour (the onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove the pot from the oven and stir the onions, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot. Return the pot to the oven with the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring the onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
- Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until the liquid evaporates and the onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pot bottom is coated with a dark crust, roughly 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.)
- Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping the pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the broths, 2 cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot.
- Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
I don’t know what happened to the numbers… sorry