The mention of it immediately evokes memories of the goopy, gelatinous mush from a can of my childhood. With it’s typically sharp flavor and unappetizing pale green color, it wasn’t any wonder why I swore off this meal for many years.
Anyway, as any self-respecting five-year-old will tell you, “peas are gross!”
They are, however, a food that I rediscovered as I entered adulthood and, moreover, learned to cook and began to prepare meals from scratch in my various rented kitchens.
From a health perspective, peas are high in fiber, protein, and vitamins A, B6, K and C.
The soup that follows is made with dried green split peas. The flavors are rich without being heavy. It also contains no cream, which is often used, in my opinion, to doctor many soup recipes with no intrinsic flavor. Adding cream is easy! Crafting developed flavors can be more difficult. This recipe, however, is easy, and can be made all in one pot–my favorite kind of weeknight dinner.
This one relies on caramelized onion and the creaminess of coconut milk and a little yogurt garnish.The pea flavor is slight and delicate.
It is a favorite on our table. I hope it becomes one on yours.
1 1/2 cup dried green peas
2 1/2 cup chicken broth, bone broth, or vegetable broth
1 medium to large vidalia onion, sliced
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder (I use a hot curry powder blend found here). If you’re not a fan of the heat, a regular curry blend will work just fine.
2 teaspoons sweet paprika (I use this one).
salt and black pepper to taste
chopped scallions and thick yogurt for garnish
In a medium-sized dutch oven or deep heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
When hot, add the sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 to 25 minutes until caramelized. Don’t be afraid to leave them for a minute or two without stirring, this will help them caramelize, just be sure they don’t burn.
Once onions are a deep bronze color, pour in the peas, add the curry powder and paprika and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Next, add the broth, stir, and bring to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling, cover with a lid and reduce heat. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes, or until the peas are bright and plump.
At this stage, add the can of coconut milk and bring the soup back to a boil, reducing to a simmer for about 10 additional minutes.
Prepare garnishes. I typically use greek yogurt and chopped scallions. Poached eggs are great here too! I sometimes poach them right in the simmering soup.