Soup fest!

I can’t complain about Toronto winter 2012 overall. This still being Canada though, today the GTA got a full face-frack of wet, heavy, snow and wind. Luckily for moi, I was cooking up my own mini-storm…of soup. So while everyone shivered or heated their tinned entrees, I enjoyed fresh and home-made hearty soup. You’re seeing correctly- I had a bowl of each. Fine, and another two of the yellow pea soup, which is fine because pulses (yellow peas fall into this category), are a great low-fat source of fibre and protein.

Yellow Pea soup:

Serves 6

Important: soak the dried yellow split peas for 12 hours.

1 teaspoon of oil
1 onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
2 tbsp minced or mashed garlic, (about 5 cloves)
1 tbsp minced ginger

1.5 teaspoon cumin
1 thai chill pepper, seeded and minced, or 3 tsp chilli flakes
375ml dried yellow split peas
1 potato, diced

3 tbsp minced parsley
1 dash of paprika and 1 dash of cayenne, or 1 dash of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste (about 3 tbsp)

1 tbsp dried marjoram or dried rosemary (rubbed btw hands before adding)
2 tbsp of lemon juice
5 L water

Use a large heavy stock pot. Drain the peas and remove any discolored ones.
Over medium heat heat the oil, and then add the onion, celery, garlic and ginger. Cook the ingredients until softened. Add the cumin, pepper, chilli, split peas and potato and mix evenly, cooking for about 5-10 minutes on medium high heat.

Add the parsley, paprika/cayenne, and salt and pepper and stir.

Add 3 litres of water, the lemon juice, and the dried marjoram, rubbing the herb between your hands before dropping in the pot.
Cover pot and turn heat to high and boil for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes, and skimming any pea shells that may rise to the top.
After an hour add remaining 2 litres of water and boil for another hour with the lid slightly askew, stirring once every 20 minutes or so.

Serve warm with a drop of mustard.

Vegetable soup:

Serves 6

1 teaspoon oil or butter or none
1 onion, minced
2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 tablespoons of minced ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 large stalk celery, sliced thinly
1 large carrot, sliced thinly
2 potatoes, diced
1 small tomato, diced
2 tbsp’s tomato paste
2 cups spinach, chopped (optional)
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, minced, with stems
3 L water
Salt and pepper to taste

This soup is soupa easy:

Heat the oil or naked pot and add the onion, garlic and ginger, and sweat until softened (the ingredients, not you). Sprinkle the mustard seed evenly in the pan and add the turmeric and give it all a turn. After about a minute add the celery, carrot and potato and mix thoroughly, letting cook for about two minutes or so. Add the spinach (if using) tomato, tomato paste and parsley, and again mix thoroughly, cooking for another two minutes or so. Finally, add the water and turn up the heat, salting and peppering as required. Boil, mostly covered, for about 30 minutes.
This one goes really well with cheese, tomato and herb sandwiches, but I can eat a massive bowl alone as a main.

Voila. Easy and delicious stabilizer and preservative-free soup.