Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spicy Harissa Split Pea Soup

This soup is just the thing if you are not feeling good.  Or... if you just want to eat something delicious.  I think I found this recipe for Spicy Harissa Split Pea Soup when I was looking for more ways to use harissa.  I ended up making a rather stripped-down version of the original recipe.  As a result, mushroom and split peas are the dominant flavors.  It's a delicious, hearty, thick soup... but one that looks not so great, which may have been due to my using yellow mung beans instead of green split peas.  The second time (yes, this soup was so good that I made it twice this week), I decided to just go with the yellow theme, subbing in red lentils for some of the split peas and adding a bit of turmeric for good measure.  Significantly prettier (the photo below, however, is from the first batch).  I pureed the soup before adding green peas, which looks a little silly but produces a really fun texture, reminiscent of the orbitz soft drinks that were so popular back when I was in middle school.

It totally depends on what your harissa is like, but next time I'll use more (though you can adjust this in the garnishing stages); it wasn't very spicy, and harissa tastes soo good!  It's very different than hot sauce; I think it's the caraway, the mint, and the chipotle peppers.  If it wasn't so spicy, I'd just eat the stuff like ice cream.  Luckily, this soup is a great vehicle for it.

Spicy Harissa Split Pea Soup

olive oil
2 TB chopped garlic
1 1/2 c carrots, diced
1 c mushrooms, sliced (I think I used significantly more than this both times)
2 bay leaves
2 c dried split peas and/or red lentils, rinsed
4 c veg broth
2 TB spicy harissa (MORE!)
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
1 TB black pepper
salt to taste
1 c frozen green peas, thawed

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.  Add garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and bay leaves and and saute for a few minutes.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients (excepting green peas) and bring soup to a boil.
3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer at very low heat, until the legumes are tender.
4. Puree soup.  Thin with water or stock, if desired.
5. Serve with green peas on top, as well as harissa and an extra drizzle of olive oil.  Serves 6-8.


sara said...

i've also been looking for other things to do with harissa. i love the spicy, yet not super hot, flavor. this soup looks amazing!

sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.