Minted Split Pea Soup with Harissa


Pea soup is one of my favorites. There's something very homey, comforting and enticing about a beautiful bowl made from your grandmother's recipe. If you're like me, it's likely that your family recipe includes ham and several hours in a crock pot. So, when I dusted off some classic pea soup recipes with an eye toward a quick, healthy meat free (and, as it turns out, slightly international) version, this is what I came up with. One of the key characteristics of a good pea soup is the smokiness from the ham. I pondered several ways to provide that smoky flavor without using any animal ingredients. Liquid smoke? Not an do they even put something that tastes and smells like smoked food in a bottle? Perhaps I'd rather not know. Fire roasted red peppers? Another no...the peppers have too distinct a taste and would likely overpower the delicate peas. Hmmm....rummaging through cupboards...chipoltes? Too hot. Toasted nuts sprinkled on top? Nope..something about nuts and peas together in a soup just doesn't work for me. A jar of harissa spice? YES! That should work nicely!

What you will need

2 tablespoons Dried harissa spice (or a paste if you can find it)

1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil

pinch salt

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Small yellow onion, diced

1 Large carrot, diced

2 Vegetable bouillon cubes (salt free if you can find them)

2.5 cups Dried split peas, rinsed

8 cups Water (use 7 if you like a thicker soup)

1/3 cup Fresh chopped mint

Juice of 1 lemon

Harissa oil


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