April 1, 2009

Split Pea Soup

You can always tell it's winter when the Evolution Kitchen is constantly churning out soup. Often for dinner all we will have is a bowl of soup and some buttered bread or flat bread with a dip.

I apologize for yet another pressure cooker recipe, but when you have one of those babies, the world is laid out in front of your feet, begging you to cook it. You could cook this in a crock pot or a conventional pot, but it will take a lot longer than what is described here.

This soup is traditionally made with ham; the texture and saltiness of ham is a perfect match for this soup. We first thought about using tofu as a replacement, but felt that it didn't offer anything flavor-wise, it only absorbs flavors. We instead opted for this product we only find at Chinese markets. It has the same texture as ham, tastes like a cross between chicken and ham, and is completely vegetarian. I don't know what's in it; I probably don't want to know what's in it. Good thing I can't read the label. We topped off the soup with some smoked paprika to give it a little smokey hint.

Split Pea Soup

After this dish is done cooking, the peas break down and dissolve into the soup, making a wonderful, wholesome broth.


1 T oil
2 c onion, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
7 c water
2 1/2 c dried green split peas, rinsed
2 c diced ham or ham substitute
2 bay leaves
1 t salt
1 t dried thyme
1 t smoked paprika (optional)


1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker and stir in the onions, celery, water, split peas, ham, salt, and bay leaves.

2. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure. Lower heat and maintain high pressure for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

3. Remove the bay leaves and add the thyme and paprika (if using). Stir well to make sure the peas are fully dissolved and thyme is incorporated.

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