Paula’s Pea Soup With Crispy Fried Onions

Don't forget the crispy onions!

Everyone is talking turkey but I’m talking soup. I’ve been cooking a different soup each Sunday – escarole soup, vegetable soup, french onion soup, lentil soup – Italian style and an Indian curry version. This past week I made split pea soup for the first time. I’m not a big pea person but I wanted to give it a try anyway, to experiment.

Because storage of dried peas is easy and low-cost, many cultures have pea-based soup recipes. The traditional split pea variety originates in the 19th century. Sailors would boil the dried peas and add salted cured pork making for a hearty, warm meal on long voyages.  In the United States, pea soup was introduced by French-Canadian millworkers in New England. It was a staple cold-weather meal during the colonial period.

Traditionally, pea soup is made with ham, but mine is vegetarian. I’m almost shocked at how good it tasted! I recommend pureeing the soup for a professional presentation. Also topping with crisped onions then adds another dimension of texture and taste.

The secret ingredient

I want to make a special note about the Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon ingredient listed below. This is my secret (not so secret anymore) soup ingredient. It gives a richness that a regular vegetable stock can’t even come close to. It’s a perfect meat substitute, adding the fat that is needed for substance. You can find it in most supermarkets where the other soup stocks are located.

Paula’s Pea Soup

Ingredients for the soup:
12  cups water (give or take)
1 16 oz bag of dried peas
2 large white onions
5 cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
½ bag Dole shredded carrots
1 tablespoon Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon jarred stock
Spice to taste: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano

Soup Directions:

  1. Dice the garlic and onions.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Then add the carrots, cooking for 7 minutes on low.
  3. Add in the water, Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon stock, dried peas and spices. I use a heavy hand for the spices. Bring to a boil and then cover, cooking on low for about an hour. The peas should be mushy.
  4. Take it a step further and puree the soup.
  5. Top with crispy fried onions and serve.

Ingredients for crispy onions:
1 large white onion
1 cup canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Crispy Onions, Directions:

  1. Slice the onions into rings
  2. In a small skillet, heat the oil on high, test the heat by flicking water into the oil. It should pop and sizzle. Add the onions and cook until crispy. This is essential deep frying.
  3. Remove the crispy onions with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Top the soup and serve. Store the onions in an airtight container.

For more  follow me on IG – @theglorifedtomatoPreviously published in The Wave Newspaper

The begin of split pea soup
tagged in recipe, recipes, winter