Split Pea Soup
Sometimes we like to reinvent the wheel, or in this case a classic soup that really doesn't need reinventing. But we did it anyway...
Starting with the main ingredient, we tried to figure out a way to add flavor to the peas. So, in addition to smoking them with hickory chips, we also added some ground cloves to the mix (the darker specks). We then made a foil packet and spread about 2 cups of the rinsed peas out in a single layer as much as possible.
After smoking for 25 minutes we then pressure cooked the peas in veg stock (covering the peas by 1") for 20 minutes.
In a large soup pot over med-high heat, add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add one medium onion, diced, two medium carrots, sliced along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 7-8 minutes, turning often. Add 1 garlic clove, minced and cook for an additional one minute.
Add the pressure cooked split peas, 5 cups of veg stock and 1 tbs. of tamari to the soup pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or so to marry the flavors. Remove the soup and puree (in batches if needed). Return the soup to the pot. If it seems too thick, add veg stock in 1/2 cup increments and stir to incorporate. If it seems too thin, cook for an additional five minutes. Check for seasoning.
For the next step we looked at the other ingredients and decided to roast the celeriac and sweet potatoes (peeled, 1/2" cubes, olive oil, salt, pepper, 425F, 20 minutes) to bring out their sweetness. For the tofu, we cubed it and hickory smoked it for 25 minutes, then wok-fried in canola oil as we normally would for a stir-fry.
We added the veggies to the tofu, then to gild the lily, we made a quick sauce of 1 tbs. of "just like honey," 1 tbs. of apricot jam and 1 tsp. of mustard mixed together and tossed then all together in the wok to glaze.
For the plating, we put the glazed tofu and veggies in the center of the bowl and ladled the soup around it.
The smoky flavor and creamy texture, along with the sweet and tangy tofu and veggies made for an intense bowl of soup.
Worth every minute of prep. ;)