Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sicilian Split Pea

One of the simplest pleasures in life, especially as we move through these longer, darker days, has got to be hot and hearty soups for dinner. Split pea is a favorite of mine, so much so in fact, that I find myself craving it. Once I did some research, I discovered all of the reasons my body wanted it (PROTEIN!), and started to make it more often, varying the ingredients each time, so that it was anything other than ordinary.

In my studies I learned that dried peas have been around since pre-historic times... archeology digs discovering them in Egypt, Asia and Rome. Peas lower your cholesterol, soothe bouts of IBS and Diverticulitis, stabilize your blood sugar and help relieve Fibromyalgia symptoms, such as headaches and disorientation, through their rich source of the mineral, Molybdenum. Add garlic for fighting infection, onions and fresh lemon (both chocked full of vitamin C), and magnesium rich spinach, and this becomes one mighty immune boosting soup!

And it's SO easy.

What I had on hand:

1-2 TB of olive oil
8-10 tiny fingerling potatoes, diced
1/2 medium-large hannah yam/sweet potato, diced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 TB minced fresh ginger
3/4 of a large red onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced

1 cup of dried split green peas
5 cups of water or broth

a handful of fresh spinach, chopped
a handful of baby green chard, chopped
a handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
the zest or juice from 1 meyer lemon
Sicilian Seasoning to taste:
(sea salt, black peppercorn, carrot, garlic, parsley, coriander, onion, chili pepper)

unsweetened almond milk (optional)

What I did:

Add the first set of ingredients to the pot and sauté on low heat to soften veggies, stirring quickly, and release the aroma of the garlic and ginger (5-7 minutes).

Add the peas and water/broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Once boiling, return heat to low, cover and simmer for 35 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook, the smoother your texture will be, and the more the flavors will marry. Towards the end of this period you may add your greens, parsley, lemon zest and seasoning to taste. If using lemon juice instead of zest, which will create a milder lemon flavor, add it only at the very end, once cooking time is complete.

For a creamier result, try adding a bit of unsweetened almond milk.
I did this just as an experiment, to cool the temp down for consumption.
It was REALLY good!

For more information on the health benefits of green split peas, click on this link:

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