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This is my vegetarian version of split pea soup without the ham bone. It goes nicely with fresh-baked bread, which is also included in my recipes. Substitute 1 cup of barley for the rice, if you like :)
- 2 cups split peas, rinsed and sorted
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 turnip, peel and dice (optional)
- 1 medium potato, peel and dice
- 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
- 8 ounces spinach, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water (or more as needed)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large soup pot, saute onion and celery in oil until tender. Add carrots, turnip, and potato. Saute about 5 more minutes. Add water, broth, peas, rice, and spinach.
- Simmer until peas are tender (this will take about 2-4 hours), stirring every so often to avoid scorching. Add water or broth as needed to keep soup from becoming too thick. Add parsley, salt, and pepper in the last 30 minutes.
- Warning: If you do not add water during the cooking process, the soup will be very thick and the split peas may not soften!
We like food with flavor and use a lot of spices, herbs and hot pepper in our cooking. I agree that this is a thick, hearty, and very heart healthy meal. However, when we tasted it, the first word was "bland." There was no "fresh, hearty flavor." After trying a few additions, including granulated garlic, fish sauce, and sherry vinegar, we each ate about half a cup and decided, "Not bad." I won't be making this again.
This smelled awful as it was cooking, and I am a definite veggie lover. I finally realized that it was the smell of overcooked peas that I really disliked. The final result was thick and tasty, though. I think that if I make it again, I will save the spinach (I used fresh) as a late addition, and cook it just until it has wilted to add a bit of fresh flavor.
This had an amazing flavor for such simple ingredients. Don't breeze past this recipe without trying it. I did use oat groats instead of rice (I have a ton to use up) and even after cooking it on low for 9 1/2 hours my split peas still were firm. But the flavor was so good that it just didn't matter. It makes a lot so I'm going to freeze it in individual portions for a quick lunch.