Guess who biked to work yesterday? With highs of 18C, a nice rain on Monday to get rid of the salt, I was almost feverish in excitement to finally start biking to work!
I know it is only a teaser, though… Warmer weather alone does not make spring. Especially if it only lasts a week.
There are many ingredients I associate with spring: Baby greens. Arugula. Asparagus. Carrots. And peas.
Since the fresh, local produce hasn’t made its way to the forefront just yet, you can approximate springtime with this hybrid of a stew adapted from Love Soup: Finnish Double Pea Soup with Apples (original recipe here). It is a wonderful merriment of a hearty stick-in-your-ribs winter split pea stew combined with a sprinkling of spring with fresh (or in my case, frozen) peas (I used the sweeter petit pois from President’s Choice). Apples also add a hit of sweetness without being too discernible. The vinegar and mustard temper and balance the soup extremely well along with a whiff of nutmeg and coriander. The flavours are not over-the-top but they marry very well.
This is my submission to this month’s My Kitchen, My World featuring dishes from Finland, to This Week’s Cravings (Green), to this week’s Wellness Weekend, to this month’s Gimme Green event and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.
Finnish Double Pea Stew with Apples
1 cup dried green split peas
3 cups water
1 large carrot, chopped small
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1 small tart apple (I used a Granny Smith)
6 oz fresh or frozen green peas (a bit more than 1 cup) – I used petit pois (small, sweet peas)
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tbsp prepared Dijon-style mustard, plus more to taste
1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups vegetable broth
pinch Aleppo chili flakes, or cayenne, to taste
1. Rinse the split peas and place them in a large soup pot with 3 cups water. Add the diced carrots, thyme and bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes. Watch the soup to see if you need to add any additional water/broth.
2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and saute it in a nonstick skillet over medium heat with a pinch of salt. Stir often until it is soft and light brown, around 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, chop the apple and cut into a small dice. Add the onion and apple to the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes, then add the peas, coriander, nutmeg, mustard, cider vinegar, vegetable broth, a pinch of chili flakes, and a scant teaspoon of salt.
4. Simmer the soup for an additional 15 minutes more to marry the flavors, then taste, and correct the seasoning with additional salt or chili flakes. Feel free to puree the soup, but I preferred it chunky.