8 cups water or vegetable stock
1 lb split peas (approx. 2 1/4 cups green peas or 2 1/2 cups yellow peas)
2 medium onions, diced
4-6 smoky tempeh strips*, cut into small pieces
1 garlic clove (optional)
1-2 T safflower oil1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp lemon grass
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp tarragon
2-3 bay leaves
4 medium carrots, sliced or cubed
4 medium celery stalks, sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste
Rinse the split peas and remove any debris.
In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the onion until translucent - about 2-3 minutes.
Add the split peas, water, tempeh, pepper and the spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the peas are soft.
Prepare the carrots, celery and sweet potato.
When the pot of peas are soft, add the remaining vegetables. Add more water as necessary. Continue to simmer the soup for an additional 45 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.
Remove the bay leaves. Add salt to taste. Add additional herbs if desired.
This soup goes nicely with warm cornbread.
*Instead of the tempeh strips, use 1 dried chipotle pepper, stemmed, seeded and snipped to bits.
For a quicker preparation time, pressure cook the peas for 8-15 minutes (see Bean Cooking Chart). Add the peas to the sauteed onions, tempeh and herbs. Add the vegetables and simmer until the vegetables are tender.