I think split pea soup tends to get a bad wrap. It tends to be used in the same sentance as ‘wallpaper paste’. Split pea soup deserves a second chance. Why? Because my husband makes an amazing (but simple) split pea soup.
Great seasonings for split pea soup are mint, herbs d’provence and lavender. Hopefully in the future we will share recipes involving these seasonings. In the meantime, feel free to play around with them yourself because today we seasoned our soup with the Greater Minnesota Northern Lights spice blend from Wayzatta Bay Spice Co. I bet you never thought you’d see the words ‘greater Minnesota’ and ‘spice blend’ in the same sentence. Me neither. Afterall, we Minnesotans are not exactly known for our spicy foods. But this blend is really very good.
I’ll give you a list of the spice blend ingredients so you have some idea what we’re talking about:
hickory-smoked kosher salt
other herbs and spices. Ahh, the secret ingredients.
A very exotic list of ingredients for Minnesota. I think if I were trying to compare this spice blend to other, more commonly available ones I would actually say it’s closest to what you’d find in a Jamaican seasoning blend, but without the spicy heat. No heat in greater Minnesota. Ever. For any reason. Not in the weather or the food.
This soup is great on it’s own or with some diced up ham added to it just before serving. I can’t help it, often I will have a perfectly good vegetarian recipe and then I think to myself, ‘This is good, but it would be so much better with _(insert pork product here)_ .’
Split Pea Soup Serves ~ 6.
In a pot over medium heat, saute until they have started to turn golden brown:
1-2 onions, roughly chopped
As the onions are sauteing, pot another small pan over low heat and use it to toast 1 tsp. fennel seed (optional). This should take about 10 minutes and they are done when the seeds are aromatic. Swish the seeds around regularly so they don’t burn.
When the onions are nearly done, add the garlic for the last couple minutes:
1 1/2 T. garlic, roughly chopped
Add the following to your onions and garlic, along with the fennel seed:
2 c. dried split peas
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 1/2 tsp. Greater Minnesota Northern Lights spice blend, or Jamaican seasoning blend
12 c. water
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let this simmer, uncovered, at least until the peas have become soft, about 30 minutes, but preferably longer to allow the flavors to meld a little more, about an hour.
When your soup is done simmering, add:
1 lb. frozen peas
Now puree it all up in a blender–you may have to do this in a couple batches. If you’d like it perfectly creamy, pass it through a fine-mesh strainer. Now, your soup is basically done! Add a little more water if it’s too thick or throw it back on the stove for a bit to reduce down, depending on how you like your soup.