Split Pea Soup with Lemon Dill Sour Cream

No Exorcism Needed Here!

This weekend, I did one of my favorite things, which is to open up a random cookbook and choose a random recipe. I chose Lemon Split Pea Soup. I don’t even like split pea soup! The nice thing about this soup is you can substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock and make it completely vegetarian. There was no ham hock involved! I tweaked it slightly and changed the name, because there was no lemon in the soup! The lemon is in the garnish. Anyway, I actually liked it. I doesn’t have that horrible canned, right off the hospital tray taste that most split pea soup does. Try it, you’ll like it.

Sorry about the Linda Blair reference, but sometimes, I can’t help myself!

Split Pea Soup with Lemon Dill Sour Cream

Serves 6

1 cup sour cream
3 Tbs fresh cilantro or dill, finely minced
1 Tbs lemon zest, finely minced
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs olive oil
2 large onions, finely dice
2 tsp jalapeno peppers, finely minced
1 large carrot, peel & finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cup split peas, well rinsed
8 cups chicken stock
white pepper, freshly ground
¼ cup heavy cream

Optional Garnish
1 cup snow peas, julienned & steamed

Combine the sour cream, dill, and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter together with the oil in a 4-qt casserole over med-low heat. Add the onions, jalapeno pepper, carrot, celery, and cook until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the cumin and cook for 1 minute. Then add the split peas and 8 cups of the stock or bouillon, season with salt and white pepper, and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the peas are very soft.

Puree the soup in a food processor and return to the casserole. If the soup seems too thick, add additional stock or bouillon. Add the cream and just heat through. Correct the seasoning and serve in individual shallow bowls, garnished with a dollop of the sour cream mixture and the optional julienne of snow peas.

NOTE: For the adventurous, try substituting tarragon for the dill. Also, try substituting some of the different lentils that are available for the split peas.

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