Another Pea Soup

I like to keep a  one pound bag of split peas in the house just in case we’re in the mood for pea soup. We just had the big blizzard the day after Christmas, and I was snowed in with my son Benji.  I couldn’t have been happier.  He loves soup, I love him, so I made him a pot of delicious, warming soup.  It was a great day.

1 pound bag of green split peas

1 pound bag of yellow split peas

2 large  onion

4 quarts water

about pound of organic carrots, cut into smallish chunks

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse the peas.  Put in large saucepan.  Pour the water over.  Peel onions and then pierce with a fork, and place in pot whole.  Put sliced carrots in pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer covered about 2 hours over low flame, adding your salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with thin egg noodles, matzoh balls, cooked Kosher hot dogs pieces, or just plain.

Lentil Soup

My son Benji spent a few months in Greece and Turkey as part of his college study program.  He came home a huge fan of the cuisines of those countries and especially of lentil soup.  I made the following recipe which he really enjoyed.  I’ve been making lots of it for myself –  a bowl of this soup makes a great dinner for me when I get home late from work.

for the soup:

  • half of one very large onion, diced
  • about 3 carrots, organic if possible, cut lengthwise and then sliced very thinly
  • about 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can peeled plum tomatoes, chopped fine -organic if possible (reserve the juice)
  • 1 small can tomato paste, organic preferably
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin or light
  • 2 1/2 quarts of water
  • 1 1 lb. bag of brown green lentils (I’ve used Goya and Stop and Shop brand)
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste (about 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to start)

Rinse well the lentils in collander.  Put into a medium-large pot.  Cover with cold water.  Cover, and bring to a boil over high flame.  When water is boiling, take off lid, and boil over medium flame for about 6-7 minutes.  Drain in collander (do not rinse lentils with water).

At the same time you are starting the process bringing lentils in the pot with the water, get your soup pot going.  In large pot saute onions, garlic, and carrots in olive oil (sprinkle with salt and pepper), till soft (I cover the pot to expedite).  Then, pour the drained lentils from the collander into the pot.  Add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato paste, and the water.  Add the reserved juice from the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, lower flame – soup should be simmering, adding more salt and pepper as necessary.  Cook about an hour.  I freeze the leftovers in quart containers.

Vegetarian Pea Soup With Matzah Balls

I have made pea soup for years.  For years, I made it with flanken.  My mother, father, and children loved it.  My in-law Marcia Greenhouse though had the brilliant idea of making the soup without meat and adding matzah balls to the recipe!  Since her son and my daughter were both vegetarians who couldn’t eat chicken soup with matzah balls, she decided, why not make the matzah balls with pea soup?  The consensus in the family is that Marcia’s matza balls are better than mine, and I totally agree.  My daughter Randi always asks me why Marcia’s matzah balls are better than mine, and I just don’t have the answer.   Here is the recipe for my delicious pea soup and my and Marcia’s matzah balls.  Oh, I made a really big pot, and then I freeze the rest in quart containers (with the matza balls).

for the soup: 

  • 6 tubes of Manischewitz split pea soup mix (I throw the seasoning packets away)
  • about 24 cups of cold water (about 5 quarts)
  • kosher salt, about 2 tablespoons or to taste
  • pepper, about 2 – 3 teaspoons or to taste
  • 2 large onions, peeled – but left whole
  • 2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into medium sized chunks
  • optional – 1/2 box of alphabet noodles or barley shaped noodles (only if you are not making matzah balls)

Pour the contents of  6 tubes of Manischewitz pea soup mix into the bottom of a very large pot.  Pour in about 24 cups of water (about 4 cups of water for each soup mix packet).  Pierce the two onions with a fork and place in pot.  Bring to a boil.  Skim scum off top.  Add salt and pepper.  Lower flame to low.  Simmer with top on.  After about one hour, add the cut up carrots.  Continue to simmer with cover on  for at least one more hour until you don’t see any more pieces of dried peas.  Discard onions.  If you are adding the noodles, boil them separately and then add them to the soup when the soup is fully cooked.

for the matzah balls:

  • 1 box (2 packets) Manishewitz matzah ball mix
  • oil and eggs- for quantities, see instructions on box

Follow directions on the box exactly.  Refrigerate batter, according to directions on the box.  Then, form the matzah balls using dampened hands.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and boil the matzah balls to that pot and cook according to package directions.  Add  cooked matzah balls to the soup. 

Note:  Freeze leftover soup and matzah balls in quart containers.