This gluten-free, vegetarian split pea soup was delicious. We served it up buffet style with a variety of toppings so each person could customize their bowl. We had 3 toppings out, because I didn't plan on incorporating other ones, but after tasting the soup there were many other flavours that I think would have been enjoyable as well (see below). Like nearly all of the recipes on this website, this soup was developed and tested in The Meals Maven's kitchen.
1 sliced onion
2 c. diced carrots
3 minced garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. rosemary
1 tbsp. savoury
1.5 tsp. salt
7 c. liquid- vegetable stock and water
Splash or 2 of white vinegar
1 small bag of split peas (1 lb)- rinsed well
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp minute tapioca
1 c. frozen peas
2/3 c. cooked quinoa
chopped, toasted walnuts
grated medium or aged cheddar cheese
Mix the onions, carrots, garlic, seasonings, salt, stock, and split peas in your slow cooker. Cook on low about 6-7 hours, or until most of the liquid is gone and the split peas are mushed.
Mix in the chia, tapioca, frozen peas, and cooked quinoa. Allow to stay on low another half hr. or so before removing from heat. Serve with toppings, as desired, to taste- about a tablespoon of each. One bowl of this soup is very filling!
Some additional topping ideas: a spoonful of plain greek yogurt, sour cream, a drizzle of hot sauce, grated carrots
It seems ludicrous to make a pot of soup when it's almost 30*C outside, but we have to defrost our freezer next week so I'm trying to empty it out. I had everything I needed, so this was dinner tonight. The bowl pictured is my first son's bowl. He likes his soup with crackers. This recipe came out of my head- a Meals Maven exclusive.
1 can navy beans, rinsed well
4 c. chicken stock
4 c. ham stock
1/2 ham steak, diced
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1.5 c chopped potatoes
1/2-1 c. whipping cream
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8-1/4 tsp ground black pepper
A note, to start: you don't have to use whipping cream. Use whatever milk you have on hand. I had that in the freezer, so I used it. Ordinarily I don't use such a fatty cream for milk soups- usually homogenized, if we have it, skim milk, or half & half,
Combine all ingredients except beans, whipping cream, flour, and butter in the slow cooker. Cook on high until it comes to a simmer.
At that time, melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the flour, then add ladelfuls of soup, stirring to thicken slightly. Add more flour if you desire a more thick soup.
Return the thickened stock to the slow cooker, turn the heat off, and add the cream and beans. Serve immediately.
This would have been delicious if served over something green, like fresh baby spinach, or a handful of frozen peas. However, I used what I had, and it turned out very tasty.
Verdict: Husband said "It smells really good in there," as I was cooking, and came back for seconds. My first born gobbled up his bowl almost completely. My second born was having a temper tantrum, so I didn't bother giving him any tonight but will definitely serve leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It was very tasty.
It's so funny. Everytime I put soup out for dinner my second son asks me if this is the kind of soup he likes. I always answer "yes". And he almost always does.
This soup was no exception, although he did take exception to some of the spicier ends of pork (leftover from my roasted pork loin). Even though soup is always a variation of broth, meat, spices, and vegetables, this simple recipe came together quickly and tastily. A Meals Maven exclusive!
4 c. chicken stock
1 large onion, chopped
3 potatoes, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 c. leftover cooked carrots
2 c. leftover pork, cubed
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c whole wheat flour
2-3 heaping tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. half-and-half
Cook the potatoes, onion, and garlic in the chicken stock on high until the potatoes are almost cooked. Add the seasoning, carrots, and pork. Turn the heat down to low.
On the stovetop, melt the butter. Add the flour, stirring until made into a paste. Add ladels of soup stock and mix well. Return the mixture to the slow cooker. Turn back to high, and bring to a boil.
Once the soup is bubbling, mix the cornstarch with the half and half, and add to the soup. Mix well, and turn off. Serve while hot.
(Edited to add on 7/11): Verdict: I pulled out the leftovers from the freezer last night for a quick meal, and both my husband and first son raved about it. What's funny about that is when it was fresh my first son thought it was awful but both my husband, myself, and my second son all enjoyed it.
I made chicken stock last night while I was sleeping. Aren't I amazing? Seriously though I learned this trick from Chef Michael Smith while watching one of his Chef at Home episodes.
You take all your ingredients, dump them into a slow cooker, add water, then turn it to "low". Then go to bed! When you get up in the morning you'll have a pot of amazingly flavourful stock *almost* ready for use.
Chicken or Beef Bones for meat stock OR
Vegetables, for vegetable stock
Any or all of the following:
Bay leaf or 2
Whole garlic cloves
Large onion, cut into large chunks
Celery stalk or 2, cut in half
Carrot or 2, cut in half
Any leftover veges you want to get out of your fridge
Splash of vinegar or lemon juice (for meat stock- helps get more calcium into your stock)
Add the bones and cover with water. Add everything else. It's ok if the veges aren't completely covered. Cover your slow cooker with its' lid, turn temperature onto "low" setting, and walk away for at least 8 hrs. I have left mine for up to 24 hours. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavour.
When you get back to it, strain out the solids, cool the liquid enough to refrigerate, and let it completely cool down in the fridge. If using meat bones you will have a layer of solidified fat to remove before freezing or using your stock. I usually skim off this fat and then use medium freezer bags to store the stock until I need it. Make sure you zip up the bag, removing as much air as possible (to prevent freezer burn), label it with contents and date, then freeze flat- this makes it easier to store frozen stock bags upright so they take up less space.
Some frugal tips:
When cutting up green onions, don't toss out the root and lower portion that you don't use- toss into a freezer bag.
Wash and scrub all your vegetables before peeling them, then instead of throwing out or composting your peelings, toss them into a freezer bag. I have heard cruciferous vegetables aren't as good to freeze- they start to stink like sulfur when they're boiling.
If vegetables are a bit soft- not moldy, just not as crisp as you'd like for a salad or vege tray, put them right into your freezer bag.
NEVER use moldy produce for stock. Those should defintely be discarded in some way.
Remember, remove as much excess air as possible before freezing anything. You will get much less freezer burn.
It's May 29. The high today is just 8*C. It's raining, it's dreary, and it's dismal. The perfect day for a big crockpot full of hearty soup!
This recipe is easily converted to meatless- simply omit the ground beef and beef stock- substitute with olive oil (for sautéing) and vegetable stock. You can opt for vegan as well, by leaving out the fresh parmesan. Because minestrone is such a "laissez faire" dish, there are many variations. This one is a Meals Maven exclusive.
Approx. 1 lb lean ground beef
1 yellow onion
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
2 small zucchinis, sliced into coins and then quartered
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 small potato, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes
1/2 c. small pasta
1 tbsp dried sweet basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
900mL container of lower-sodium beef stock or homemade
4 c. of water
1 can drained and rinsed white kidney beans
4 large handfuls of baby spinach
Fresh parmesan, for garnish.
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish.
This meal begins on a stovetop. It's easy to prep ahead by pre-chopping all your veges except the potato the night before, if you need a head start in the morning. Start with onions and beef. Brown them together at medium-high heat in a large skillet. Stir, breaking up the beef, until the meat is browned. Drain whatever grease has accumulated by spooning it into a large can- never drain it down the sink!
Next, add all the rest of the vegetables except the spinach, and sauté until they are softened. Add the spices and chia, and mix well.
At this point, you can continue on the stovetop, by transferring to a big soup pot, or dump into a slow cooker, which is what I did,
Add the soup stock, water, and pasta. Turn the slow cooker on high and ignore it for a couple of hours, or bring your soup pot to a boil. When the carrots and potatoes are fork-tender, and the pasta cooked, turn off the heat and add your beans and spinach.
Serve garnished, if desired.
Verdict: First son said "great." Second son said "I like it". Husband said "It was really good but a little watery". I thought it was delicious.
Many-hatted wife and mom: cook, chauffeur, planner, payer-of-bills, and buyer-of-groceries, among others.