A little lighter than the original, but packed with flavor and nutrition. In a pressure cooker, this is easily a weeknight dinner.
This is my 100th post!
Pea soup made from dried legumes is a classic Northern dish with French Canadian roots. On rainy spring nights, this soup warms the bones and adds home comfort to the day.
Traditionally, this soup was made with a ham bone to add flavor, smokiness, and a bit of meat presence, and also to make use of every part of the animal. I make it that way for my husband (his favorite soup) when we have a ham bone left from a holiday meal, and he loves it. However, this vegetarian version is quick to put together and cook in a pressure cooker or multi-cooker, especially on a weeknight when we need something comforting, and we need it fast. It makes a lot, so you’ll have enough for lunches tomorrow.
Still a simple dish to make
The original family version was simple –– split peas, a ham bone, an onion, and water, and it was delicious. In my redux, I’ve added a substantial amount of cauliflower to lessen the carbohydrate load on each serving. I’ve omitted the ham bone, but added some spices to make up for the lack thereof, especially the smoked paprika.
It takes just a few moments to prep and put together, and the appliance can do the rest of the work. This soup is beautiful when leisurely simmered in a stockpot. It is equally delicious made in a pressure cooker or multi-cooker, and it can slow cook all day in the crockpot while you are at work.
This is the basic recipe, but I also love this with curry flavors. When blooming the other spices, add a tablespoon of your own or a prepared curry blend and a little extra cumin for good measure. Curry Spice Blend
Garnish with crispy shallots or onions (below) or homemade croutons, toasted pepitas, or a mix of all of the above! You could add crunchy noodles, or even something with a bit of spice like sliced radishes.
Serve this with biscuits, traditionally, or, if there is no time to bake, whole wheat pita bread, toasted and slipped into the side of the soup.
Split Pea and Cauliflower Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 ribs celery, tops and all, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 large or two small parsnips or carrots
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups cauliflower, small dice
2 cups split peas
8 cups water
It all starts the same: In your pressure cooker, multi-cooker, or stock pot, heat and add olive oil followed by the onions, celery, pepper, and carrots. Sauté until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and bay, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. If you are using a slow cooker, do this in a sauté pan and transfer to the cooker.
Add the cauliflower, peas, and water to the pot.
Here are your options at this point:
If using a pressure cooker or multi-cooker on pressure, cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally.
If cooking in a stockpot on the stove, bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 2 hours, or until the soup is at the consistency you like.
If using a slow cooker, set to low heat for 8 hours.
Leftovers will probably have to be thinned down as this soup naturally condenses!
Crispy Shallots or Onions
These make a great topping for many soups where you want some texture, and if you have any left over you can add them to a salad or sandwich.
1 cup canola oil
1 large onion or 4 shallots, sliced very thinly
Place the shallots in the canola and heat to medium high. Keep an eye on them, they will probably take from 8 to 10 minutes to crisp up. I like them really crispy, but take them out when they are at the stage you like.
Nutritional information: For 10 servings, 160 calories each, 3 grams of fat, and full of fiber (12 grams), protein (10 grams). Also, a good source of vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and iron.
© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.