Monday, May 28, 2012

Split Leeky Soup

Split Leeky Soup is one of the few dishes I make that does not contain garlic. I just didn't think it needed it. *ducks in case the Garlic Gods throw lightening* Truly an odd thing for me, but there you are.

One of the best things about making your own soup is that you control the sodium levels. Salt should accent rather than overpower flavor elements. Canned soup corporations have trained many of us to accept and expect overly salted soups. Pause a minute before buying that can of soup, take a measured breath, and read nutrition facts.Notice the excess of sodium and the minimalist vitamins. Then put the can back on the shelf, go home, and make this outstanding soup.

Split Leeky Soup
Nutrition facts are set for 1 T soy sauce

What you need:

6 cups no-sodium Veggie stock
16 oz dried split peas, picked over and rinsed
3 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1-2 T low sodium soy sauce
6 shakes of Tabasco
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

What to do as you prep for cookery:

split peas
Always rinse and sort through dried beans and peas. The way they are grown and harvested means that every now and then you will find a small stone in the mix. Use a fine mesh colander and check for stones. Then rinse until the water comes out clear.

Put the split peas and stock into a large pot. Bring  to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about an hour, stir every now and then.

While the peas are simmering, prep the rest of the ingredients.

First, prep the leek. If you have never cooked with a leek before, it is very easy to prep. The part you eat is the white bulb and the lightest green part above the bulb. Leeks have a sort of mild onion flavor and add depth to this soup. Smaller leeks are the most tender, so choose them on the small side if you can.

you just use the white and light
green parts!
Using a sharp knife, cut off the roots, then peel off the dark outer leaves, trim off the top until you just have the white and light green part left. The leaves and roots can be used in two ways - 1) as one of the veggies to be pitched after use but that are wonderful when making stock, or 2) as a "green" in a compost bin.

Slice in half lengthwise, then make thin slices from the bottom up. Leeks often hide a lot of dirt within the layers, so the best way to rinse them is to put them in a bowl of water, swish them around, drain, and repeat until they are clean. Now, put them in a bowl large enough to hold all the veggies for the soup.

Prep the onion by chopping the entire thing. Add to the bowl with the leeks.

Prep the carrots by peeling and chopping to a small dice. Add to the bowl with the leeks and onions.

Pick some fresh parsley, rinse it well, chop it all up, and add it to the bowl with the leeks, onions, and carrots!

Set out the soy sauce, Tabasco, and black pepper in a handy dandy place with a measuring spoon if you like to measure with spoons instead of eyeballs and nose. Because I am careful with salty things, I actually measured the soy sauce and I just used 1 T this time...measuring like that is not the normal thing for me.

How to finish the soup:

I do hope you have been stirring the peas and stock. Not ridiculously hovering all the time, just a twirl sometimes so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Every 15 minutes will do.

Tip all the veggies into the pot and stir. Return to a simmer and cover. Cook, stirring a bit every now and then, until the veggies are soft - about half an hour or so. Add the seasonings, stir, and taste. Adjust upward and onward to the level of spicy saltiness you love most with the other flavors. Start lightly and build.

Serve with a lovely watercress and cucumber sandwich and enjoy a very mindful meal.

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