Monday, 24 October 2011

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Spring Greens and Sweet Potato

Kitchen Play List:  Bryan Adams ~ 18 till I Die Album

Well...what a Sunday I've just had..complete techno the hot chocolate fix helped with my own personal meltdown because of the techno problems..OK, OK so did the therapeutic expletives..However I managed to not have to throw something, much to the Sock Stealers disappointment! lol. (p.s. Sock Stealer where are all our socks? It's getting chilly here now!) My Web Master spent some time last night flipping between our computers trying to sort out the issues for me. And we may have a temporary fix...if you are reading this then my Web Master's battle was won! lol. 

So..back to the food. On Friday I made a soup that would feed myself, My Love and my sister with some left over for my sister to take home for her freezer. I am currently eating my last bowl of this soup right now. It's a soup that I have smiled at many times, when looking at the wonderful photo of it in Colleen Patrick-Goudreaus fantastic cookbook Colour Me Vegan.

Now Yellow Split Peas and I have a history...made up of hours of soaking, cooking and my almost teary state when no matter how I've cooked them..they have ended up like little defiant bullets in a bowl. Crikey these pulses have made me swear. But I bought a massive bag of them from the Indian and Continental Store that I bulk buy all my dried goods...with the hope that..this bag will bring me better results. And then I filled up my tub and put the remaining ones in their tightly sealed bag in my dry stock cupboard and there they have stayed. Until Thursday...I took the book of my shelf opened it up to the recipe read it through and thought..."This time!!!..." To hedge my bets I put the required amount in to soak overnight. 

Friday morning I went through the process of making this recipe. And it's not a hard recipe and comes together very easily. I had to substitute the collards for Spring Greens and the yam for sweet potato. After it had had it's full cooking time the spilt peas were still hard. Not break your teeth hard...but unpleasant. So I added more water to the soup pan and cooked for another ten minutes and repeated this for a further 3 times more. If I'm honest the split peas didn't get squishy soft which was a great disappointment. But they had reached a point at which they could be eaten and enjoyed. The flavours were really good and the soup was all a soup should be...warming, comforting and filling. The spices were good and the other textures from the carrots, sweet potatoes and the spring greens were pleasing. But the best part of this soup for me was the colour. It's bright sunny yellow colour was a smile inducing wonder. The cook book photo had also made me smile but the soup in front of me was even better. (Just a shame the photograph I took didn't do it justice..)

I will make this again...maybe try pressure cooking the yellow split peas first? I make C.P-D's Green Split Pea Soup from The Vegan my slow cooker after soaking the split peas overnight so maybe that would be worth a try. 

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Spring Greens and Sweet Potato
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Spring Greens and Sweet Potato
(Recipe slightly adapted from Colour Me Vegan/Patrick-Goudreau)
1 tbsp oil of choice, I used Rapeseed
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp curry powder (I used Medium Madras~R~)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1-2 med garnet or jewel yams, cut into 1" cubes (Iused Sweet Potato~R~)
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
8 cups/1880ml veggie stock
3 cups/420g dried yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 bunch of collard greens, chopped into bite size pieces (I used Spring Greens~R~)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and then add the onions. Stir and cook until they translucent, approx 7 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the curry powder, cumin, mustard, tumeric, yams, carrot, stock, and split peas to the pot. Stir to combine.  Cover and simmer until the split peas are tender and broken down, about 1 hour. Stir often to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

About 10 minutes before the soup is done, add the chopped collards to the pot and stir to combine, and cook for about 10 minutes until they soften and integrate with the rest of the soup. Season with salt, to taste, and serve hot with freshly ground black pepper. 

NB Please remember the cooking time is an approx..mine took much longer almost twice the time and that was with soaking! So if you have any wonderful tips at cooking the perfect yellow split pea I would welcome hearing from you happily! 

And once again, thank you, to Colleen for another fantastic cookbook!