Winter’s here! Yesterday was really wet and cold in Sydney, so I thought it would be nice to have a warming hot soup for dinner. I bought green split peas a few days ago and our fridge was full of veggies so I decided to make a big pot of veggie split pea soup. Soups are not everyone’s favorite but I’m a big fan of soup. They are super easy and quick to make and they warm you from the inside out. Nothing better on a cold winter’s day….especially when you have a little toddler at home who needs your full attention and is a difficult eater at dinner time, it’s nice to not have to worry about the soup slowly cooking on the stove.
Although often made with a ham bone, my version of split pea soup is so hearty and heart healthy you won’t miss the meat. Serve with thick slices of rustic bread.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 potato, chopped
- 2 cups of green split peas, rinsed
- 7 cups of hot water (or stock)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until softened.
- Stir in vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Then add peas, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat so liquid is simmering. Cook until peas are tender, about 1 to 1¼ hours.
- Serve with thick slices of rustic bread (if desired).
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRIED PEAS:
Dried peas, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
Fiber is far from all that dried peas have to offer. Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. As if this weren’t enough, dried peas also feature isoflavones (notablydaidzein). Isoflavones are phytonutrients that can act like weak estrogens in the body and whose dietary consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer.