Signs of spring come early in Northern California. Yes, my snow-bound friends, I am surrounded by blossoms on trees and flowers in bloom. In fact, I went on a long run yesterday among vineyards scattered with bright yellow mustard flowers. (I’m a jerk; I know.) The yellow mustard enriches the soil before new grapevines are planted in the spring. Check this out.
Now, back to soup. With spring on the horizon for us all (really it will come one day!), I feel compelled to share another favorite soup recipe while we’re still making it. This split pea soup from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook is high on my list of seasonal eats. It’s not at all fussy; in fact, it proves that one does not necessarily need a ham hock to make a satisfying pea soup. That’s not to say that you can’t up the ante by adding one to the mix, it’s just that it’s not necessary. This recipe also goes to show that simple pantry staples can come together in fabulously satisfying ways.
Dried split peas are among the few legumes that do not require soaking before cooking. They are high is soluble fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of potassium and other vitamins and minerals. This recipe is a great way to enjoy them with little fuss and great taste, and, um, maybe a glass of wine?