Friday, March 9, 2007


[NOTE: This recipe has been edited, Saturday 12 April 2008, since a recent comment indicates the warnings about it being spicy and that the chiles could be omitted were overlooked. Additionally, I have made a note that the cloves could be reduced in number. This is a soup, as is conventional, made from DRIED split peas and I have made that clearer below. Also, I have emphasized that the soup IS a thick one and that you will undoubtedly need to add more liquid as it goes along (depending on your pan, your heat) and perhaps some at the end to thin it out to a consistency coincidental with your personal taste.]
This is a great soup for gusty March evenings.

Rarely a week goes by, except on the hottest of summer days, that we don’t have this soup at least once. Sometimes we serve it with dumplings (added in the last 20 minutes before serving), sometimes with crusty bread. As usual, you’ll note it is a bit on the SPICY side - that’s to our taste. You can be more conventional and OMIT the chiles if you prefer and cut down on the cloves. But for us, that extra zing is what for us sets our version ahead of the rest :)

We made a big pot of this and had some last night. (The soup has the virtue of freezing well.)


8 cups vegetable stock (homemade if you have it)
1 cup carrots, grated (a couple of carrots, depending on size)
2 large ribs of celery, very finely diced
1/2 brown cooking onion, very finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried yellow split peas
3 bay leaves
7-10 whole cloves (or to taste)
a few grinds black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced (or use a tsp dried)
crushed chiles to taste (we use 1/2 - 1 tsp, depending on our mood)
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
Garnish: minced parsley

Put all ingredients in your soup pot, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 50 - 60 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Check from time to time to stir and make sure the soup doesn’t stick on the bottom of the pan. Add more liquid if needed - and yes, you will need to do this (I always do or it becomes more like a dhal than a soup).

When soup seems done to your satisfaction, taste for seasoning. Remove bay leaves before serving, Garnish with parsley.

We had ours yesterday with some lovely home-made quick bread.


Carrie™ said...

Yea Pat!! You've been blogging for a while by the looks of it. Way to go! And you have pictures. That's awesome! I'm just home from work and have to be back at it in the morning, so I haven't really taken an in-depth look around. I'll try to do that over the weekend & link you up on my blog. Recipes look gooooood!

Melody said...

I just found your blog.. everything looks great!

'River' said...

Well Hi there Carrie, my dear friend - and hello to Melody (whose blog I found just this last week!). I've linked you both (The House of Simon and MeloMeals) to this site :) Thanks to both of you for the kind words, but I'm just a beginner at this. Hugs.

Liza said...

Can I just point out to newbs like me that the recipe doesn't mean DRIED ingredients. If you measure two cups of dried split peas you end up with two BOWLS full and although the soup is lovely, that's serious pea overload!! I also did the same with the chillies and they blew my head off (a teaspoon of dry chillies is like a desertspoonful once they've gone soggy!!). Good job I have a good tolerance for hot food!

I've never cooked soup before in my life and it's gorgeous. I hope it's not fattening as I've almost eaten a whole pan full :)

Great receipe :) Liza x

River said...

Hi Liza,

Thanks for posting, but - newbies or not - YES the recipes (which is my own) does indeed mean DRIED split peas. It may be 'serious pea overload' to you, and in that case I suggest maybe another recipe might be more appropriate :) And YES I do use between 1/2 and 1 tsp of DRIED crushed chilies in that recipe as given. Again, you just judge for yourself if that is too much and adjust accordingly. We like some of our food hot and spicy - often more so than this recipe indicates - but it is a matter of taste *shrug*

Sorry if you found you had too much of both split peas and chilies - it wasn't a recipe for one person. It would probably feed both of us twice - depending on how hungry we are. It is a very thick soup and needs to be to provide good food value for someone who is using it as a meal :) You can of course thin it out a bit and make it, er, watery. Or serve less. Or skip it altogether.

Come to think of it, most of my soups are pretty thick!!!! I post here what I actually cook and actually eat. Cookbooks, of course, tend to aim for the 'average' person's taste, and while that differs from country to country it usually means that things do get rather blanded out, watered down, etc.

So, watch out for the spices in my recipes - fair warning!

Btw, your message came through twice, so I'm going to be 'rejecting' the duplicate - I checked and it's exactly the same as this one, so we don't need both.

Love and hugs!

River said...

I have now edited the recipe to account for the misunderstandings noted above. I hope this helps. Apologies for not capitalizing the words SPICY and the option to OMIT in relation to the dried chiles in the ingredients list also. The warning was there, but perhaps not clearly enough.

I cannot, however, go through all the recipes in this way. May I suggest, with kindness, that you probably won't enjoy all this blog's recipes. We have always relied heavily on spices in our vegan meals - otherwise, some things can be perilously bland and much of a sameness. The same was also true back in the bad old days - a quarter of a century ago, perhaps, when we had not even discovered vegetarianism. Spicy food delighted us then and continues to do so, although I understand that everyone does not feel the same.

I guess my problem is that I have been corrupted, if you like, by friends who come from culinary backgrounds who have taken hot spices for granted all their lives. Additionally, our frequent travels in southeast Asia finished the job!!!!

Best of luck! Love and hugs, River.

Liza said...

EEK! That brought more of a reply there than I anticipated! Perhaps my cups are just bigger than yours ;) I've just made the soup again tonight as we enjoyed it so much! I popped less peas in and (a lot) less chillies and it's perfect for us. You're right it's all about taste, from one person to the next (take it from goldilocks)... my plan is to make each of your recipes and adjust for us. It seems we're a lot less brave than you.

I'm only a young lassy too and not an experienced cook. Praise the Lord for all you genorous people out there and their delicious food.

Sorry for posting twice, I had trouble registering.. must have double-hit!

Love and hot soup,
Liza xx