Green Pea Soup Recipe and Why You Should Be Eating Dried Green Peas
Although my usual mantra is that 'fresh is best' when it comes to recipe ingredients, I take exception when it comes to green pea soup.
I've made green pea soup with both fresh and frozen peas, and to be perfectly honest, I've found that neither are as tasty as when the dish is made with dried green peas.
It isn't just the taste, however, that's impaired when fresh or frozen peas are used to create pea soup, but also the texture and consistency. Traditional green pea soup should be thick and fairly heavy. Have you heard the old saying about fog being as "Thick as pea soup"? Well this is exactly the consistency of a good pea soup. Thick.
I'm also the first to admit that green pea soup may not look the most appetizing, but it's highly nutritious, very tasty and incredibly inexpensive to make.
You can either use dried split peas or dried green peas to make this soup, the only difference between the two is the way they have been processed and split peas can also be yellow, but have a slightly more delicate flavor.
When it comes to nutrition, dried green peas contain high levels of soluble fiber, six B vitamins, vitamin A, C, D and K, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. In fact, dried green peas contain more than 70 different nutrients, so if you're not currently including dried green peas in your diet, you really should be.
Traditionally green pea soup contained hock of ham and various other vegetables, but as I'm a vegetarian I obviously omit the ham and use a vegetarian or vegan stock. The following recipe is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
Vegan/vegetarian green pea soup per serving
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Carbohydrates 40 g||13%|
|Sugar 11 g|
|Protein 7 g||14%|
|Sodium 549 mg||23%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Ingredients for green pea soup
- 2 cups green peas, pre-soaked and ready for using
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 2 pints, vegan/vegetarian stock/broth
- 2 heaped teaspoons, dried mixed herbs
- 1 Tbsp, olive oil
- Soak the peas overnight or as recommended by the manufacturer. Rinse them thoroughly.
- In a large pot (large enough to hold two pints of stock) heat the oil. Add the leeks and onions and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the stock to the vegetables and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and then cover and simmer for approximately five minutes.
- Add the potatoes, peas and mixed herbs to pan. Bring back to the boil and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Check the soup two or three times, however, as you may need to add more liquid (stock or water)
- After 50 minutes the peas should have begun to shell and become quite mushy. At this point, the vegetables should also be very soft and the mixture should be starting to resemble pea soup.
- At this stage you can also add more stock or water, if you feel the soup is too thick. Remove from the heat and blend in batches, or use a hand blender as I have in the illustration.
- Once blended, add the chopped carrots and return to the heat. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
- Serve with thick, crusty wholewheat bread.