Quick, summer is coming soon!
It’s barely May and round here the heat gives us little respite these days. Luckily it has been raining heavily for the last two days, which brings the heat and humidity down a few notches to more bearable levels. Cool enough to eat soup without melting into a puddle of sweat, and just enough for a nice serving of split peas soup.
I know what doctors recommend (they won’t shut up about it): Breakfast like kings, dinner like paupers. Unfortunately for a night owl such as yours truly, forced by society to a life in which sleeping is reserved for the nights, my appetite and energy peak at night. But just as I have to make myself go to bed at night, I also have to trick my belly into to avoiding a feast right before bed.
Enter this soup.
This delicious split pea soup is quite light, but filling. On top of that it is very easy and quick to prepare, and if you have a pressure cooker it won’t take more than 15 minutes to serving time. If you have a slow cooker, and the time, even better, as the flavors are better released using this method. Both methods are perfect for the working parent in charge of feeding the family.
While split peas are not very common on the Dominican table, we can always find it in the supermarket and I always have some at home for these occasions. You can prepare this as a vegan or a meat-lovers’ dish – both options are included.
But returning to my night owl inclinations, did you know that several studies suggest that, should we engage in our preferred awake-sleeping cycle, night owls are at higher risk of several nutrition-related diseases?
Yikes! I guess I will keep going to bed early, and not just because I have to take my daughter to school.
- 2½ cups of green split peas
- 4 low-fat turkey or chicken sausages (optional)
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 large carrot, peels and cut into cubes
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 sprig of cilantro
- 2 cilantro ancho / culantro leaves (optional)
- 1 large onion, cut into eighths
- 4 allspice berries
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1½ quart [1½ lt] of water of boiling-hot water
- 4 teaspoons of olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- Place split peas, sausages, potatoes, carrot, celery, cilantro, culantro, onion, allspice and a teaspoon of salt in the pot (or pressure cooker or crock pot).
- Add boiling-hot water.
- Cook over medium heat until all the ingredients are cooked through (15-30 minutes). Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
- Cook for 15 minutes counting from the time the pressure valve starts whistling.
- Cook for 4 hours over medium heat, or 7 hours over low heat.
- To finish (regardless of cooking method), add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.