Curried Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup is not photogenic; there’s no question about it.  That doesn’t mean, however, that it doesn’t have other very laudable attributes.

I’ve blogged about this soup before, but I made it the other day and thought it was worth mentioning here for several reasons.  One is that it’s a very, very tasty soup: it’s subtle but complex, smooth and I added enough curry to make it a little bit spicy.  Another is that it’s very easy and uses only a few ingredients; I rounded out the meal with some cheese toasts and spinach salad.  Also, split peas are insanely good for you.  Finally, this soup is extremely economical; I didn’t do the math, but I’m betting that it costs only pennies per serving (even less since I used homemade chicken stock, which also adds to the health benefits), and that’s important to me this year as the hubby and I are tightening our belts a bit and living on a tighter budget than we had when I was working full time and he wasn’t yet self-employed.

In case you’re not convinced to make this, here’s what you’re doing for your body when you eat split peas:

  • They are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which means they catch nasty cholesterols.
  • The fiber also helps make you regular and minimizes irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
  • They are the right kind of fiber to balance blood sugar – great for everybody, and especially for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
  • A bunch of the minerals help your heart.
  • The potassium helps with high blood pressure.
  • A cup of cooked peas has 16 grams of protein! Now that deserves an exclamation point!
  • The isoflavones can help prevent breast and prostate cancer.
  • They have huge amounts of molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps detoxify sulfites, which are a preservative in just about everything.

Curried Split Pea Soup, from Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 12 ounces dried green or yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

Directions

Place the butter into a large (4 to 6-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, making certain not to allow onions or garlic to brown.

Add the peas, chicken broth and curry powder. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook at a simmer until the peas are tender and not holding their shape any longer, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Using care and a stick blender, puree the soup until the desired consistency. Watch out for hot splatters.