Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, when it works that is. When it doesn’t, well sometimes what you get isn’t so good, and sometimes it’s damn good. I’ve recently become addicted to the split pea soup at Fresh Choice – a dairy-free version with a vivid green color and a creamy, thick texture that’s not completely smooth.
I tried to replicate it today. The version I made was delicious in it’s own right, although not a replica of Fresh Choice’s version. It’s more of a murky green color with flecks of orange (from the carrots) and a mostly smooth consistency with small bits of texture. Mine is also vegetarian and dairy-free, actually it’s vegan now that I think about it, and very filling. It also falls in the quick-and-easy, one-pot category.
I’m going to continue to try to make split pea soup that is the same as the one that inspired me, but this is a good one to eat in the meantime.
Almost Perfect Split Pea Soup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 galic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 lb split peas, picked through and rinsed well
7 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sweat for two minutes. Then stir in the celery, carrot and potato and sweat for five minutes. Add the split peas, vegetable stock or water, bay leaf and dried thyme. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer 35 to 40 minutes or until the peas have softened.
Use an immersion blender, regular blender or ricer to puree the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.