Smoky Split Pea Soup

I'm pretty sure smoked paprika is the most beloved spice in our household. Yeah, there are a lot of other great spices, ones that we can't live without. I'd probably die if I went three days without using cumin, cinnamon, or curry powder. But nothing gets me quite so excited as when I find a new recipe that calls for smoked paprika (and hopefully a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, which just compliments it so well). If you don't have smoked paprika in your home, please do yourself a favor and buy some now. (And make this Moroccan pot-roasted eggplant dish that's Joe's absolute favorite.)

So, yeah, this soup was really great. It's not going to win any beauty contests, but it's super easy and tastes awesome when sprinkled with a garnish of fresh thyme from your Aerogarden and scooped into your mouth with a big crusty hunk of whole wheat bread. Which is how I ate it, in case you couldn't guess.

Smoky Split Pea Soup
From Appetite for Reduction
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A few twists of the pepper grinder
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups dry split peas
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the oil until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, and salt, and saute for another minute. Add the paprika and thyme, and stir continuously for about 15 seconds to toast the spices a bit.
Add the carrots, split peas, and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, the lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until the peas are creamy. Stir occasionally to prevent the soup from burning at the bottom. If necessary, thin the soup with water. Add the lemon juice and taste for salt and seasonings. (I had to add about another teaspoon more each of salt and smoked paprika to get it tasting super delicious.)