Split pea soup is underrated. Oftentimes, vegan authors are almost apologetic for including split pea soups in their cookbooks.
If you have a bland split pea soup in your cookbook, then, yes, you should feel ashamed. The folks at Rebar need not be worried, because their split pea soup is fantastic. In my notes next to the recipe, I wrote “silly good” and a few of my adjustments (smoked paprika for the chipotle puree, and yellow instead of green split peas). Do you write in your cookbooks? I feel kind of dirty doing it, but it is the best place to keep your notes!
Like most beans dishes, the spices and seasonings are integral to the final dish. Paired with the sweet peas, you add roasted garlic, smoked paprika and liquid smoke. Carrot, too. And while I added 1/4 cup of fresh sage, it wasn’t a dominant flavour. All the flavours mingle so well together, it creates a soup with different levels. This is definitely a soup I will warm up to again this winter.
Smoky Split Pea Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sage
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup fresh sage, minced, divided
1 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight
4 cups vegetable stock
1 whole garlic bulb, roasted
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
Salt and pepper to taste
1. If you haven’t roasted your garlic yet, start now by chopping off the top, sprinkling with oil, salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast at 400F for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool when finished.
2. Meanwhile, drain the peas and rinse in cold water. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add carrot, crushed garlic, bay leaves, smoked paprika and half of the sage. Stir and sauté for 10 minutes, then add in the split peas and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are soft and falling apart, approximately 45-75 minutes (it will depend on the age of your beans).
2. Remove the bay leaves. Squeeze the flesh from the roasted garlic bulb and add it to the soup pot with the liquid smoke, the remaining sage, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup (consider pureeing only a portion). If it is too thick, feel free to add more vegetable stock, especially once it thickens as leftovers.