You either like split pea soup or you don't. I am a big fan and I challenge doubters to make this soup and not fall for its chunky, savory deliciousness. Besides, who doesn't love recipes from Ina Garten, author of 13 best-selling cookbooks and matron of TV's Food Network show, The Barefoot Contessa?
If you're familiar with Ina, you'll know that while her recipes are universally delicious, she has a tendency to use generous amounts of butter. Every once in awhile, though, she takes the healthy route. One of Ina's favorite phrases is, "How easy is that?" This soup is a perfect example of both -- it's low in fat and calories and it's super easy to make.
Ina's recipes are always unique and this simple soup is no exception. Split pea soup traditionally includes ham, but Ina adds chopped carrots and potatoes instead. I think you'll love the chunkiness of the chopped veggies. She also suggests adding most of the split peas when you first start simmering the soup and adding the remaining peas halfway through, imparting a slightly different texture to the peas. I followed her instructions and was delighted with the results. Of course, you can add all of the peas at once if you prefer an easier method. Either way works.
Bear in mind that split peas thicken every time you heat them. Be prepared to add broth or water as needed. This wonderful winter soup freezes beautifully too.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium chopped carrots (3-4 carrots)
1 cup chopped red boiling potato (3 small)
1 lb. dried split peas
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
In a large Dutch oven heat olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic with the oregano, salt and pepper until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.Add the carrots, potatoes, 1 1/2 cups split peas and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes.
Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer another 30-40 minutes until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to prevent solids from burning on the bottom.