Winter is the epitome of roaring fires, red wine, fluffy blankets, good movies, hot water bottles as well as incredibly delicious, hearty, wholesome soups. Lovely thick vegetable soups like minestrone, butternut, leak and potato, plus this smokey pea soup are amongst my favourites. Soup, like stew, requires creativity and imagination. Adding ingredients which you love, taste testing as you go along and perfecting it with a little tweaking here and there is all you need. Soups are great if you have left over veggies that you want to use up, so you can literally concoct your own incredible dish, there are no rules.
The secret to this lovely thick soup is long, slow cooking. I started off by using a pot on the stove top and once all the ingredients were well combined and ready to simmer, I transferred it to my slow cooker then left it for about 4 hours to continue the cooking process. I use my slow cooker quite often since the temperature can be controlled quite well and the food doesn’t burn. If you don’t have a slow cooker, then just leave your soup to simmer on the lowest heat on your stove top, stirring often to ensure that the soup is not burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
The ingredients for my thick pea soup are simple ones and the instructions are really straightforward and easy to follow. For best results, make a day or two before serving.
You will need:
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
2 carrots, grated
2 cups frozen peas
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
250g split peas, rinsed
10 small smoked pork bones
1.5 litre good quality chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a heavy based pot and fry onions till transparent
Add the grated carrots, garlic, cumin and diced potatoes
Fry for a further 5 minutes, adding a cup of the chicken stock
Add the split peas, smoked pork bones, frozen peas, combine well
Add the remaining chicken stock and seasoning
At this point, if you have a slow cooker or crockpot, transfer soup and allow to cook on low for 4-6 hours, if not allow to simmer on stove top on low heat for 1-2 hours until soup has thickened and vegetables are soft. Stir regularly
Serve with ciabatta bread