As many Torontonians in my area know, one of the best pea soups in the city can be found at United Bakers — a Kosher-style restaurant in Lawrence Plaza. It’s not my favourite place to go because it’s not exactly chic…, not at all chic, and because I usually see half the people I knew in high school when I go there — and I like to relax when I dine. I used to take out their pea soup and their Greek salad ALL the time. But, now that I’m vegetarian, I can’t eat these dishes. The pea soup has butter in it, and, of course, the Greek salad has cheese in it. Until now, I haven’t met a pea soup as great as theirs, though. Until now….
Meet the best low-to-no-fat pea soup on the planet — right here in Cheaty’s kitchen, and soon in yours if you take my word for it. This soup tastes EXACTLY like United Bakers, without the BUTTER, and without any added fat. The secret, I think, is in the carrots and sweet potatoes….
2 cups dried split peas (rinsed)
6 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots (sliced)
2 stalks of celery (sliced)
2 handfuls kale or spinach (chopped)
1 potato (peeled and chopped)
1 sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground curmin
Sprinkle of pepper
Sprinkle of salt (optional, to taste)
1. In a large pot, combine peas, water/broth, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potato, sweet potato, and marjoram, basil, turmeric, and cumin. Cover loosely.
2. Let it simmer, medium heat, until the peas are tender — approx. 1 hour.
3. Scoop as much of the soup as you like into a blender and puree until smooth. I like my pureed soups a LITTLE crunchy and colourful, so I puree about 3/4 of it. If you want a perfectly smooth soup, you can use a hand blender, of course, or transfer the whole thing to a blender or food processor.
4. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the pepper (and teeny bit of salt to taste — only if you feel it’s necessary).
Storing: I’ve kept this soup in my fridge for up to a week. I ladle up only what I need each time because it’s not good to keep reheating it.
This soup is so hearty it’s a meal in itself. Enjoy! And let me know how you like it!