Traveler's Split Pea Soup

Traveler's Split Pea Soup

It’s a chilly overcast day here in Philly and it has me in search of something warm and filling to eat. My most recent kitchen concoction, a thick yellow split pea soup, features ingredients leftover from meals earlier in the week. I have a habit of buying ingredients to make specific recipes and then I forget about the remnant ingredients until they either go bad or get pushed so far back in the cabinet that I don’t find them until we move. Yikes. The best way to save money on your food expenses is to use up every little bit of what you buy. To that end, I’ve started a new habit of pulling out all the leftover items that I haven’t used by the end of the week and creating meals out of those before I head to the grocery store. It takes a little bit of thinking time, but my budget and my palate are always happy that I used everything up.

This week I had half a bag of dried yellow split peas, fresh cilantro, and 2 Serrano chilies. I also took advantage of some of my pantry staples including bouillon cubes, minced garlic, ground ginger, and ground coriander. It came together pretty quickly, but simmering the peas took the most time, about a half hour. I call it Traveler’s soup because it takes advantage of a wide array of spices and tastes as if it came from a number of different countries’ cuisines. The ratios of spices can easily be altered to your taste preference. I like my soup chunky, but you could also add more water and bouillon for a thinner soup.

Traveler’s Soup

Serves 2

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
½ bag of dried split peas (a little over 1 cup)
2 cups hot water
1 bouillon cube (I used vegetable bouillon but chicken would work as well)
½ Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Serrano chilies
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium-sized pot, add the olive oil and garlic, heating over medium-high heat until the scent of garlic starts to fill the air. Pour in the peas and stir. Mix together the water and bouillon in a separate container and once the bouillon has dissolved, pour it over the peas and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Once it begins boiling, put a lid on the pot and reduce heat to low. Stir the mixture occasionally and once the peas have softened, approximately 30 minutes, shut the burner off.  Add the ginger, coriander, chilies, salt and pepper and stir. Just before serving stir in the fresh cilantro and that’s all there is to it!

The perfect companion to Traveler’s soup is a loaf of crusty, bakery fresh bread. I use this recipe to bake fresh bread every day for only 40 cents a loaf (!!!!!!) and it is nearly effortless. I hope you enjoy your Saturday!

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