February 01, 2012

Split Pea Saffron Soup

I saw this recipe on the blog My New Roots yesterday, and immediately picked up split peas, so I could make it for dinner tonight.  I love the flavors in this soup.  Leeks, carrots, butternut squash, split peas and saffron combine beautifully.

In addition to the soup, I also attempted the sun shaped carrots Sarah recommends to garnish the soup with.  Unfortunately, my soup did not turn out to be as thick as Sarah's, so my suns sunk to the bottom of the bowl. 

I nearly cut my hand off attempting to wedge the length of the knife blade into the carrot, so I don't think I'll try them again.  However, I did find that a pastry cutter worked well for cutting the length of the carrots, if you want to give it a go :)

I think homemade bread is the perfect accompaniment to soup, so last night I made the starter and baked it today.  It required adding ingredients during my lunch hour, but luckily I can come home for lunch.

I should probably branch out and try other bread recipes, but rustic bread is the first yeast bread recipe I ever made, and now I'm partial to it.  Other than the 15 hour rise time, it's really quite simple to make, and if you have a dutch oven, I highly recommend making it.

Split Pea Saffron Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 cup dried yellow split peas
  • 20 threads of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 large leeks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • Spread split peas out on a light colored plate to check for, and remove, small stones or debris. Then place them in a small bowl covered with water, and let soak for 8 hours.
  • In a very small bowl, add approximately 20 threads of saffron and cover with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, setting it aside until you're ready to cook with it.
  • In a large stock pot heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the leeks and garlic, stirring often for 2 minutes. Then add the spices and bay leaves, stirring frequently for another minute. Finally, add the butternut squash, carrots and 1 cup of broth. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the split peas, then add to the pot with 5 cups broth and the saffron water (threads removed), bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  • Once the peas are cooked through and soft (about 15 minutes), remove the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from: My New Roots
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