I am thrilled to welcome Christine Oppenheim of Veggie Fixation to Cowgirls & Collard Greens this week! Christine and I met in person about a year ago and since then, I have had the pleasure of spending a little bit of time with her (while eating vegan food of course) on some of my visits to Southern California. Check out her deliciously healthy and of course fully plant based Split Pea Soup recipe below. While it may not go over too well in California right now as we are experiencing unusually warm winter weather, I think this soup will really hit the spot for all the East Coasters who are currently undergoing massive negative and frigid temps. Thanks so much for sharing Christine, giddy up and take it away!
I’m thrilled to be guest posting for Cowgirls & Collard Greens and sharing one of my latest fixations with you. Soup is one of my favorite food groups. Despite living in Southern California, where we really only get a few days of proper “soup weather”, it is something that I love eating year round. Every bowl is just so nourishing, comforting, and healing. Whether you are getting over a cold, trying to warm up your body, or just looking for a wholesome one pot meal, this Hearty Vegetable Split Pea Soup is the perfect solution.
The soup starts out with a classic mire poix – carrots, celery and onion – and pairs it with creamy potatoes, juicy tomatoes, and a protein powerhouse of split peas. The choice is yours if you like it smoky, spicy, or mild, which is controlled by the addition of smoked salt and paprika, and/or cayenne. Personally, I like it smoky AND spicy! I made a mild version of this recipe for a client recently and her one year old grand-baby was gobbling it up, with enthusiastic sounds of “mmmm” and “maw” (more). It was the best testament to just how good this soup is! Enjoy! And, if you’re in a part of the country that is buried under snow, stay safe and warm.
Hearty Vegetable Split Pea Soup ~ Serves 2 as a hearty entrée, 4 as a side.
1/2 cup dried split peas
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 small yukon gold potatoes, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne, optional
1/2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt or smoked salt
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
spinach, big bunch (about 2 cups loosely packed)
1. Sauté onion in broth or oil, until they are translucent and start to brown, about 4 minutes. Add celery and carrot and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
2. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, cumin, split peas and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 50 minutes, or up to an hour and a half, until peas are tender.
3. Add tomato, paprika, cayenne and salt and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat, stir in spinach to allow to wilt. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy!
*Note: To reduce cooking time, you may parboil the split peas for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Then simmer the soup for an additional 20 minutes, adding the tomato, salt and paprika during the last 10 minutes. Salt and acid slow down cooking time for the beans, which is why they are added last.
About Christine Oppenheim:
Chef Christine Oppenheim works to break down common misconceptions that vegetables are bland or boring. As a certified Natural Foods Chef and a Food for Life instructor through the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.org), she is dedicated to preparing fresh, organic foods to satisfy all palates. Christine teaches people how to easily incorporate more whole grains, fruits and vegetables into their diets and make small, but lasting lifestyle changes to increase energy, control weight, improve digestion, and reduce risk for disease and chronic illness.
In 2011, Christine experienced health issues of her own. Not wanting to depend on medication to merely mask her symptoms, she has focused on healing through a low fat, plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle choices. Realizing the true power of food to hurt or heal, and how your relationship to food can be shifted in an instant, Christine is dedicated to teaching others how to take their health in their own hands.Residing in Santa Monica, CA, Christine provides hands-on recreational and educational cooking classes, personal chef services and corporate wellness workshops.For more information, tips and recipes, visit www.veggiefixation.com.