Yesterday was one of those days where a roaring fireplace wouldn’t have gone astray. The drizzle hung around most of the day, making me feel like I was back home in NZ. From the moment I woke I had soup on my mind. Growing up I’m pretty sure there was a constant supply of soup plopping away on the coal-range, filling the air with its homely smell throughout the cooler months. The boy is just like his dad and doesn’t care much for soup, but as Si’s away up north working the whole school holidays (I know, what?!) it was the perfect time to bust out the big pot and indulge mine and Ada’s cravings for soup.
This soup couldn’t be any easier. A base of olive oil, onion and garlic are cooked down, split yellow peas and grated carrots are added before turning it down to a gentle simmer and leaving it to do its thing. An hour later you’re greeted with a huge potful of thick, stick-to-your-ribs hearty soup. The kind my Dad would have told us as kids will put hairs on your chest (um, no thanks Dad).
The sumac sprinkled over the top is the key to making a simple dish like this sing. I’m addicted to the stuff and find myself sprinkling it on virtually everything. But of course if you can’t get your hands on some, a good squeezing of fresh lemon juice (from a lemon like this maybe!?! Haha) right before serving will give the soup a lovely lift and a similar tang.
creamy split pea, carrot + sumac soup
This is a super simple soup where the sumac really is the star of the show. You can find it at specialty grocery stores and some supermarkets. But if you really have no luck finding it, a little fresh lemon juice added right before serving will give the soup a lovely lift and similar tang.
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and grated coarsely
2 cups (400g) yellow split peas
2 litres (8 cups) cold water
fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
sumac, to serve
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook gently for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and carrot and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring often until softened. Add split peas and cold water, bring up to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout and more often towards the end. In the last 10 minutes of cooking season well with sea salt and black pepper. I like this served thick, but thin down with additional water if you prefer it a tad thinner. Serve hot, sprinkled generously with sumac and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.