Soup’s on!

January is National Soup Month!  So let’s start the New Year off with soup!   There are many good soups to make but let’s start with a recipe I found recently – Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Parmesan Crisps!

I must admit I have never made a split pea soup that had ham in it probably because I never grew up having it that way.  I am sure ham and ham hocks added to a soup makes for a great soup and one day maybe I will try making a split pea soup with ham but until then I will share the recipe I recently found , made and thoroughly enjoyed.  In fact, I wish I doubled the recipe because it was gone so quickly and I wanted more.

I was surprised that the recipe only had 1 ¼ cups of dried split peas and was curious if that was enough to make a nice thick soup.  I was intrigued with the other vegetables in the soup, especially the parsnip.  I knew the parsnip would add a nice sweetness and it did.  The thyme added the perfect seasoning. When the soup was done and I blended it with my immersion blender, the soup had a wonderful thickness and taste.  I found the soup quite addicting!

The Parmesan Crisps were an added bonus! The thyme and pinch of cayenne pepper added great flavor to the crisps.  The crisps were great with the soup but I would also make these crisps anytime I wanted to make Parmesan Crisps.  I did cheat and use Parmesan cheese that was already shredded and it worked well.

My only mistake was I did not double the recipe.  Try this recipe and I hope you will enjoy the soup as much as I did.

Vegetarian split pea soup with Parmesan crisps

Serves 6

CRISPS

3/4  cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2  teaspoon dried thyme

Small pinch cayenne pepper

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, mix Parmesan, thyme, and cayenne.

3. Using a tablespoon measure, spoon cheese mixture into mounds 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten with the back of the spoon. You should be able to make 12.

4. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden. Cool on the baking sheets.

SOUP

2  tablespoons unsalted butter

2  carrots, sliced

2  stalks celery, sliced

2  parsnips, sliced

1  small onion, diced

1/2  teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/4  cups (about 9 ounces) dried split peas

6  cups vegetable stock

1/4  cup chopped fresh parsley

1. In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the carrots, celery, parsnips, onion, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.

2. Add the split peas and stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the split peas fall apart. Stir in the parsley.

3. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot and reheat until hot. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with Parmesan crisps. I used an immersion blender in the pot the soup was made in.

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