… No Split Decision Needed: This Soup is Definitely a Good Choice!
Pea soup has so many nutritious attributes, it can be a meal on its own. Just a quarter cup of dried peas provides 12 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of protein, and no fat. When we add in our other ingredients, we find additional health benefits, while still maintaining a low fat count. The protein count is boosted from the chicken broth. The carrots supply cancer-fighting antioxidants, as well as beta-carotene for good eye sight. Potatoes add bountiful amounts of vitamin b-6 and potassium, both beneficial to heart health and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
With all of the dietary benefits, the “creamy” texture (without using any dairy ingredients), and the rich flavor from the peas, this soup is satisfying and filling. But if you’re wanting just a bit more to create a meal, serving a side salad or a baked sweet potato would each complement the soup nicely. I particularly like to serve pea soup when the air begins to turn cooler and it becomes sweater weather (which usually happens in early to mid-September in MN). A delicious way to welcome Autumn once again.
Our recipe can easily be converted to a vegetarian soup simply by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Another plus of this recipe is there is no need to soak the peas prior to cooking, reducing the preparation time.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 2 hours 15 minutes
1 pound dried split green or yellow peas
6 cups water
6 cups gluten free low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups diced celery, including some leaves
2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced and rinsed well to remove grit
1 large yellow onion, diced (I like to use Vidalia onions because they add an extra sweetness)
2 1/2 − 3 cups diced russet potatoes (approx. 3 quite large potatoes)
1 1/2 − 2 cups diced carrots (approx. 3 large)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika, to taste
Tabasco hot pepper sauce, to taste
In a large stock pot, combine peas, water, broth, celery, leeks, and onion. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the potatoes and carrots. Cook soup another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the peas have broken down.
Add the salt, pepper, paprika, and Tabasco. Continue simmering 5 more minutes to blend flavors. Taste and adjust as needed.
This step is optional, but I find it makes a more interesting soup. In a blender, puree 3-4 cups of the soup, to create a “creamy” texture. Stir the pureed soup back into the original soup. Stir to thoroughly incorporate. Repeat until about 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup has been pureed. This will produce a cream-style base soup with some flavor bites throughout. If you choose to skip this step, you will have a lovely, more chunky-style soup. Both are colorful and delicious. Enjoy!