Thursday, 21 November 2013

Split Pea Soup

This soup is a very special one for me - many happy childhood memories surround it. It was what my Mum would make on the coldest, snowy days, as my sister and I ran into the house post-snowman-building, stamping our feet to regain feeling and tentatively holding our hands over the scalding radiator. 

Though childhood is long gone, winter is returning once more. This recipe continues to be a sure favourite - and a definite winter warmer. It’s also really easy (and really cheap!), so you have no excuse.

Ingredients (serves 6):
- 450g yellow split peas
- 1750ml water
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
-  ½tsp thyme
- 2tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste

1. Throw everything into a large pan. Literally – no oil, no cooking the vegetables first, just throw them all in together. Told you it was easy.

2. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, put on a lid (or cover with tin foil) and simmer for 2½ hours. You should check on it every half hour or so, but otherwise you can leave it to its own devices.
3. Remove the bay leaf, then blitz with a stick blender (if you don’t have one you could attempt to sieve it, but they’re well worth investing in and you can get them for under £10 online).

Aaaaand serve! With a fresh loaf of bread or rolls if you have the time, but it's great all by itself. If you want to be fancy you can garnish it with some fresh thyme and a twist of black pepper. This soup also freezes spectacularly, so it's definitely worth keeping any you don't eat.

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