Tag Archives: soup

A taste of home: split pea soup

2 Jan

I always feel a little conflicted coming back to school.

On the one hand, it’s great to get back into routine.

See people.  Take classes.  Be within 5 minutes walking distance of everyone.  Run into my boss everywhere I go.

On the other hand, I hate leaving Portland.  I miss my family, my house, my usual vegan haunts.

I miss seeing guys wearing kilts riding unicycles down the street and playing the bagpipes like it’s no big deal.  This happened.  Seriously.  Don’t believe me?

(the Birkenstocks really complete the ensemble – at least he’s not wearing socks, too.)

So whenever I come back up to school, I try to bring a little bit of Portland back with me.

This is one of those recipes you get from your mom that never tastes the same when you make it – but it still tastes pretty good, because, well, it’s your mom’s recipe.

Duh.

And especially on your first night back at school when the heater is still trying to wake up from three weeks of sleep, this soup is the perfect thing to warm you up.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

  • 1 c. dried split peas
  • 1 c. each diced carrot, onion, and celery
  • 2 small red potatoes, diced
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Throw the peas and the broth in a pot and let them simmer for about an hour (I put the bay leaf in about half-way through this time).  My pea to broth ratio was a little off, so I ended up adding a cup or two of water – you can do this if you like your soup a little more brothy anyway.  Add in the diced vegetables and spices and cook for another 20 – 30 minutes, just until the veggies are tender.

Serve it up with bread or without, either way it tastes like home.

Heels and other things we have in common

7 Jun

There are certain givens in life.  Constants.  Things that everyone has in common.

Singing in the shower.  Everyone does it.  Don’t deny it.  In fact, tonight I had my iHome set up and was all but busting out choreography around my bathroom.  I would have been singing into my hairbrush if I knew where I had left it this morning.  Oops.  Or, if you’re more of a bath person:  playing in the bath tub.  Maybe the extent of your playfulness is splashing the water around.  Or maybe you’re like me – you see that your arms have steam rising up off of them because the water is so hot, so you pretend to be Hades from Disney’s “Hercules” for the rest of your bath time.  (This may or may not have occurred a few days ago).

Shoes.  Shoes happen.  We have to wear them on our feet.  And heels.  Heels happen.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence that they’re only one letter away from being “hells,”  I don’t know.  I just bought a pair of heels – not sure why; maybe because they were cute, maybe because it’s summer, or maybe because I’m thinking that since I’ll be working in an office during the upcoming school year, I should sort of start acting like a grown up – and have just rediscovered that my feet don’t function more than two inches off ground level.

Whoops.

Maybe I spent twenty minutes walking around my house in them, trying not to walk like a robot.  Maybe I woke my mother up doing this.  I won’t admit to anything.

Writer’s block.  Writer’s block also happens to everyone.  Even if you’re not a writer.  It happens when you’re having a conversation with someone, and they say something to which you think you should have some witty comeback – only to think of one an hour later when the person’s gone and the moment’s been lost.

I’ve had writers block for the last week.  If not more.  But today, my heels and Hercules reenactments and Maroon 5 harmonizing have brought you this soup.  I know soup isn’t incredibly summery, but to be honest, this summer isn’t incredibly summery – at least not here in the Pacific Northwest.

Go make it now, or slip this recipe into your autumn foods cookbook.  Either way, it’s pretty darn great.

AFRICAN PEANUT SOUP

(makes a “soup”er duper double batch, halve the recipe if you don’t feel like eating it for the rest of your life)

  • 3 small or medium onions, diced (plus about as much celery diced as well)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 7 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 5 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. peanut butter (I like to use creamy)
  • 1 package of Butler’s Soy Curls, if you so desire
  • And, maybe some kale – yum.
In a large pot, saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the sesame oil for about 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.  Add the curry powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and saute for another minute.
Add the stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and peanut butter and stir until it’s all combined.  Add in the soy curls, and heat until it’s hot enough to eat.  Simple enough, right?