Slow Miracle Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

by moonwatcher on November 15, 2013

Split Pea Soup

I’m posting another recipe a little bit sooner than I usually do, because thanks to Lee over at Veggie Quest, I’ve been educated to the fact this is National Split Pea Soup Week. Lee has a gorgeous and delicious looking recipe for Vegetarian Curried Split Pea Soup over on her blog, which I suggest you go take a look at. (The secret ingredient is indeed inspired.) Meanwhile, in my ongoing project to honor the lentil and split pea growing region I live in, I was halfway through writing a post about some green split pea soup I made recently in the slow cooker, and thought I’d better finish it up.

I have two other great vegetarian cookbook authors to thank for the inspiration for this easy tasty split pea soup. One is Anna Thomas, who wrote the classic Vegetarian Epicure back in the 70′s and more recently a wonderful book called Love Soup. The other is Kathy Hester, author of The Vegan Slow Cooker. Because of the innovative split pea soup recipes of these women,  I was given the foundation to spread my own wings and come up with this version.

I didn’t start out to do this. Instead I started out thinking I would make Kathy’s version. But then I wanted to use up things I had in the frig that weren’t in her recipe. I also didn’t have any of her nifty vegan buillion cubes made (recipe in The Vegan Slow Cooker). And I didn’t want to do any extra sauteing. I just wanted to throw it all in the slow cooker and forget about it.

But as so often happens, the process of adding a little of this and a little of that drew me in. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I got to use up everything I wanted to use up, and add a few more things I’d made or dried earlier in the season. I turned on the slow cooker and told myself I’d doctor it up with a little chickpea miso if it was too bland. Or some dijon mustard, like Anna Thomas suggests stirring into her stove top version before serving. But in the end I didn’t need to. It was so good I exclaimed out loud about it to myself (and Romeo) over and over, and nearly forgot to take a picture of the finished product becuase I was so busy eating it.

Both Thomas and Hester use apple in their split pea soups. I had one left from an old tree half a block away, a tree I once picked baskets  of apples from with my son’s help back when he was in high school. I still remember the crisp Fall morning, and how we laughed and craned our necks as Mike angled the fruit picker, hoping we wouldn’t get bombarded. I made applesauce, apple butter, and stored the rest packed in boxes full of dry maple leaves, like edible Christmas ornaments. We ate apples until February.

Small, sweet and golden, they are the tastiest little apples of their kind I have ever had. This year I didn’t get to  pick as many as back then. I had my hands full with a bumper crop of my own pears. But I did manage to pocket a few on our evenings walks. The house that once “owned” the tree has been torn down, but the tree is still there, waiting for someone to come sit under it and eat an apple. I had one left that was quite golden and ripe, and I wanted to use it before it turned too soft to eat.

The only thing you have to have made ahead of time to do this is some Everything But the Kitchen Sink Broth. So I hope you’ve been saving your leek end and squash seeds and kale stems in the freezer.

I actually did take pictures of this soup when it was in the slow cooker. The close up of everything in the slow cooker before I turned it on came out pretty good:

split pea soup ingredients

But the only “right after” one I finally remembered to take before transferring it out of the slow cooker came out blurry and in shadow, as if the soup were a planet about to be eclipsed:

split pea soup in slow cooker

So even though my pictures of it are less than spectacular, and National Split Pea week is coming to an unceremonious close, it’s never too late to enjoy this super easy hearty healthy split pea soup. Looks can be deceiving. And a week is just too short a time for anyone like me who loves split peas, yellow or green, any time of the year, any day of the week.

Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Veronica November 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Looks delicious! And neat about the lovage – I had never heard of it. I’ll have to look around and see if I can find some. Happy Split Pea week!

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2 moonwatcher November 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Thanks Veronica! I hope you can find some lovage–I think you’ll really like it! And happy Split Pea Soup Week back to you. :)

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3 angela November 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I always look forward to reading your blogs Maria even if I don’t always comment : )

This recipe as always looks pretty good…must try it but it’s going to be 31 degrees celsius tomorrow…bit warm methinks for now.

I was just musing and I have to tell you about another blog I so love to read – different to yours but essentially the same heart : ) It’s Bealtain Cottage in the West of Ireland. Being a poet and artist you couldn’t help but love Colette and her cottage and cats : )

Hope I wasn’t out of line to write this here but I just felt the urge for you to connect : )

Lots of love Angela X

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4 moonwatcher November 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Hi Angela–thanks. :) I always appreciate it when you comment. You are not out of line at all. I will take a look when I get a chance. Glad something else lovely reminded you of the “heart” of my blog.

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5 Lee at Veggie Quest November 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Maria, this looks so good! I would never have thought of apples and leeks in split pea soup, but it sounds amazing. (In fact, I just printed out the recipe.) Question, though: where does one get lovage? (It’s the first I’ve ever heard of it, too.) Do they have it at Whole Foods? Or would I need to go to a spice shop?

Hope you had a great Split Pea Soup week, and thanks for the shout-out! :-D

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6 moonwatcher November 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi Lee–I’m happy to shout out about your blog–it’s terrific! Lovage is hard to find. Kathy Hester is the one I learned about it from, and apparently she can get it the market where she lives from time to time. You would look in the produce section for fresh. Perhaps they’d order it for you. It’s used like celery, except you use the leaves, which are larger and more plentiful than in celery. One of my neighbors has been growing it for decades. I raid his plant every year, and dried some leaves, so I have it dried. You could ask in any place that has a bulk spice section and see if they can get it. I’ve never seen it that way though. I so fell in love with it that I started my own plant, which I highly recommend. It’s hard to start from seed (which you can order) but once you get it going it’s hardy as can be. The landlord “cleared” my neighbor’s huge plant out this summer–I nearly choked when I saw what had happened–but then I found the rootball, and brought it home, soaked it and planted it and it revived nicely. So now I have two plants, and my neighbor is glad it is still growing around here. I hope you can find some at the market or get a good produce guy to special order it for you so you can taste it. It’s hard to go back to just celery after lovage. And it’s good for skin and digestion too. Anyway, long story, but I love it so much I could write about it all night!! LOL And leeks and apples in split pea soup are my favorite. :)

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