Friday, March 23, 2012

Taix' s French Split Pea Soup

Thanks to the LA Times for this delicious split pea soup from Taix French Restaurant. It hits the spot on a cool, rainy day as winter turns the corner to spring.

Split Pea Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
1/4 head of cabbage, chopped fine
2-1/2 cups yellow or green split peas
3 quarts vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 Bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Dash of Worcestershire sauce (to taste)

1.  Saute' onions, garlic in olive oil until they begin to tan (caramelize.) Stir in celery, carrots, cabbage to glaze. Add 2 quarts of broth. Bring to a high boil, reduce heat, cover loosely and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

2. Stir in the split peas, add 1 quart of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for an additional 1.5 hours, stirring often while the soup thickens. Add oregano, Bay leaf and thyme. Add more water if necessary.

3. When the split peas start to break down, season with salt, white pepper and Worcestershire. Simmer until the soup is the consistency you prefer and the flavors meld. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Optional: sour dough garlic croutons or diced ham

Ah those French cooks. They are so smart about everything. The idea to saute' and simmer the vegetables before adding the split peas makes a very rich vegetable stock. The cabbage adds depth of flavor, texture and dimension. I added fresh thyme and bay leaves for a bit more complexity. The end result is a rustic split pea soup with a depth of flavor, texture and body to hit all the right notes in your appetite. (And it's only 167 calories a serving if you're counting.)

Bon appetit
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