Quick Split Pea Soup

My stressed out wife says she needs soup for lunch today. She wants to know if I can deliver. Deliver, as in will it be ready by noon? Or, can I walk it up the block to where she works? I knew that with only a few ingredients and minimal cooking time, I could create a soup that was unassuming, uncluttered, and unadorned, honed to the bone and honest in its goodness. I also knew that I had pesto in the refrigerator. Pesto is one of the all-time soup doctors. I usually have some type of pesto in the freezer or refrigerator. I recently made arugula pesto because I bought a big bag of it at the farmer’s market.

I poured a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pot and diced an onion while the oil got hot. This is called buying time. It’s similar to writing a letter when you don’t yet know what you’re going to say, so you start with the salutation. It makes you think that you’ve started. And guess what. You have. Once again you’ve tricked yourself into believing that you know what you’re doing. And guess what. You do.

What could I pull off the shelf that was within arm’s reach and not buried behind my memory’s cobwebs—something that wouldn’t require pre-soaking or take hours to cook? Split peas.  If you’re keeping score, that’s multiple choice answer A. No time to look at the other choices, certainly not E, none of the above. I chopped a few garlic cloves and threw them into the pot, added carrots and continued cooking for a few minutes before adding water. In no time, I was carrying a container of soup to my wife. I had a bowl myself. “Pretty good,” she said. I had to agree. A man doesn’t argue with his wife.

Quick Split Pea Soup

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, diced

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 carrots, diced

1½ cups split peas

7 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

a few spoonfuls of pesto

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for another five minutes. Stir in carrots and cook briefly before adding 7 cups of water. Add split peas when water starts boiling. Simmer for approx. 30-40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in pesto when split peas are cooked and continue cooking for a few minutes.

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4 responses to “Quick Split Pea Soup

  1. Yum! One of my favorite soups, and sparkling prose, too! Your blog is getting better and better, Michael.

    • I was with you until that “a man never argues with his wife” quip. I guess I’m going to learn more than cooking by reading your blog.

      Where do you stand on using broth instead of water in your soup?

      • Of course you’re going to learn more than cooking from this blog. That’s why it’s called breadandsuch. Where do I stand on using broth instead of water? Usually off to the side so I won’t fall in 🙂 It depends on the soup. I guess it’s always better when you have stock. I don’t usually use chicken stock because my daughter doesn’t eat meat. I’m not crazy about store bought stock. When I feel up to it, I make a quick vegetable stock. I also like the challenge of making a flavorful soup that’s made with water.

  2. Michael Lukaszewski

    Thanks a lot, Michael! Here I was, all comfy in bed, doing few last minute emails. Then I visit your blog. After two minutes of scrolling and browsing, I’m frickin’ starving! Now I need to get up, head for the kitchen, and stuff my face so I can get some sleep. I am going to be “in your face” next time I see you at TJ’s.

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