Greens Split Pea Soup (with Oven Roasted Chickpeas)
So, the day was dark, cold and wet and, being conducive to puddles, it was Little Boy Green’s favourite kind. The boy was on a mission and no man, and certainly not his parents, would stop him from living out his dream. Out we went on a long, wet, windy puddle-hunt. So, we found the finest that zone 1 has to offer and let him splash, jump, scooter ride and otherwise frolic through the deepest, murkiest, filthiest and splashiest puddles he could find. We stoically accepted this to be the pastime that was to hijack the whole day and embraced our fate. Mrs Green even wore her wellies.
When we got home, Mrs Green picked up Little Boy Green and put him in the bathtub and hosed him down, first with clothes on then with scooter, and finally in birthday suit sans gear. We congratulated ourselves on having exhausted the child and quenched his thirst for puddles. So, we had lunch, and Little Boy Green had a nap and we got warm and the weather stayed cold and the day got even darker. When Little Boy Green woke up, he demanded more puddles. We tried to reason with him, but what with Little Boy Green donning Mugabe negotiating strategies, we capitulated before long.
We spent the whole day outside. It was awful, except for the exulted expression on our filthy little boy’s face. Round One- Little Boy Green: 1 - Daddy & Mrs Green: nil. We prayed for a draught.
Since then, the weather has turned freezing and the puddles have all but dried up, but the thing that rescued the day - or made it even better - however you view a day spent in freezing drizzles getting covered in Grade A inner city grime, was dinner. So, here we bring you the soup.
Split peas don’t make an appearance in our cooking repertoire too frequently, but when they do we find ourselves preparing them in this way and enthusing how we should have this more often!
This kind of recipe is what our day-to-day cooking is made of: easy, quick and relying on store cupboard ingredients in the main. Little Boy Green likes it (score!) and it is thick enough to be served up on its own or mixed with some pasta or other starch if there is not quite enough of this for a full meal.
This time around we prepared Oven Roasted Chickpeas (also a Little Boy Green favourite) for a little crunch and to add a little smokiness to the dish (see paprika used to flavour the chickpeas).
If extra smokiness is what you are after then you could also grab a block of extra firm smoked tofu, cut it into cubes, toss in some sesame oil and brown it on a hot griddle plate until a little crispy on the outside. Alternatively add a little (a tablespoon or so) of liquid smoke to either the chickpeas (before they go into the oven) or directly to the soup when pan-steaming the onion and celery.
Ingredients: (Serves 4 adults)
500g split green peas (2 cups)
3 litres water (12 cups) divided
3 tbsp of low-salt bouillon or 1 tbsp regular
200g frozen spinach (approx. 8 cubes)
1 stick celery
2 medium onions
salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop and dice the celery and onion and place in a large pot along with 1 cup of water and the bouillon.
Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the onion liquid is reduced and the onion is translucent.
Add the split green peas and the remainder of the water and bring to a boil. Then cover, lower heat and simmer for 60min.
Add the spinach, return to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with oven roasted chickpeas or serve with thick slices of warm toasted bread