Creamy Split Pea Spinach Soup

 

I’m sad to say that it’s not exactly “soup weather” here in Minneapolis….Today there’s going to be a high of 90 degrees! We got teased with a taste of fall last week, but alas, the summer has lingered on, leaving me longing for cool temperatures that justify all the cooking I want to do: soup and pumpkin-flavored things, more specifically.

Because I’m on the mini-cleanse, my dinner options are soups or smoothies, and although smoothies can be incredibly satisfying, sometimes a soup seems heartier. And on my double-workout days, I felt it’d be best if I went with something more substantive.

90 degree weather be damned, I was going to make a pot of soup!

Last winter, Mike and I had stockpiled three go-to soup recipes: split pea, kale/white bean/sweet potato stew; Moroccan chick pea stew. Since split pea is the only one of those that was pureed (and thus appropriate for a liquid meal), that’s what I chose!

This recipe is highly influenced by Heidi Swanson‘s version, but I added spinach and a lot more spices. Here’s the run down:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1 tsp (or more) cayenne pepper

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

2 cups dried split green peas

1 cup fresh baby spinach

5 cups water

juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)

a few pinches of smoked paprika (for garnish)
more olive oil to drizzle (for garnish)

Instructions:

First, chop your onion. Put olive oil in big pot (I use a Martha Stewart crock pot, to which I fondly refer as “Martha”), and turn on flame on stove. Put onions in the pan, as well as all the spices and cook until tender. Add your split peas and water. Boil until peas are tender, about 25 minutes.

When they seem ready to go, add your spinach and stir until spinach is wilted. Add the lemon juice. Turn of flame and either blend this in the pot with an immersion blender (best thing ever!), or pour soup into your blender (carefully! and probably in more than one round). Blend until soup is creamy. Serve in bowls with olive oil, paprika, and lemon zest to garnish.

This is a really satisfying soup! Don’t believe me? Even my kitty wanted some! : )

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