Split Pea Soup


I’ve been waiting for a chance to use my new Dutch Oven (Le Creuset) to make a soup to see how the flavors change.   I really do like the way the dutch oven (and probably a crock pot) enhances the spices and flavors of split pea soup.  I like chunky split pea soup more than blended ones, so I cook this one for a long time, until the split peas fall apart.  Since this soup takes a long time to simmer, I generally make large batches and freeze them in small containers.  That way I can have some ready whenever I want!  I like my soups on the thicker side, but you can add more water/broth if you want it thinner.  If you are going to freeze it, I would make it thick and dilute it when you reheat it.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup onion, chopped into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cup tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt (optional, some vegetable broths already have salt)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of cinnamon powder
pinch of clove powder
1 lb green split peas, washed well
1 cup carrots, chopped into small pieces
8 cups vegetable broth
12 oz baby spinach or kale
4 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

Directions

1.  In a large pot, heat the oil on med-high.  When it is hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for ~1 min.        2.  Add the onions and garlic and saute for ~3 mins until the onions become slightly translucent.

3.  Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and clove powder.  Cook, stirring constantly, for ~10 min until the tomatoes begin to dry (liquid burns off).

4.  Add the lentils, carrots, and vegetable broth.  Bring this mixture to a boil.  Then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cover and let cook for ~2 hours.

5.  Once the lentils are done (soft and falling apart), remove from the heat.  Add the spinach/kale, cilantro, and grated ginger.  Serve hot!

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