Perfect Soup for Rainy Day


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Need a comforting soup to curl up with on a rainy day?

Try this:  Split Pea and Ham Soup

Besides being incredibly good for your body, this soup is good for your soul. It’s warm, comforting, and satisfying. Served with a crusty french baguette and a simple side salad, this is a great way to wrap up your busy day with a luscious, tasty treat.

Here’s the recipe:

2 white onions – chopped

3 carrots – diced

3 celery stalks – diced

2 garlic cloves – minced

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

12 ounces Nieman Ranch smoked ham – diced

2 cups dried split peas

8 cups organic chicken stock

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves – large ones

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 fresh sprigs of organic parsley

2 teaspoon sea salt – fine course

In a large soup pot, on medium heat, sauté onions, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Then add the ham and cook 5 more minutes, still stirring occasionally.

Make sure you pick through and then rinse the split peas.  Now add them to the pot, along with 8 cups of organic chicken broth, bay leaves, dried thyme, and parsley.  Cover and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.  Make sure you stir occasionally and don’t let the liquid dry up.   If it does, just add some water to the consistency you want.

Note:  When someone says “simmer” that means usually a low or medium low setting, depending on your burner size.

After the 1 1/2 hours if the soup is too “liquidy”, remove the cover and turn up the heat to medium until it gets to the thickness you want.  Add the salt and pepper, and taste for seasoning.  But remember, don’t add the salt until the end.  It will keep the peas from softening.

Now, there are 2 ways to eat this soup:  you can serve as is, with all of it’s wonderful consistency, or you can use a hand blender and puree as much of it as you want, leaving some consistency or make it completely smooth.  Either way, the taste is fabulous and luscious.  But, if you don’t puree the soup, fish out the parsley stems.  If you do puree, take out the bay leaves first.

Another note:  if, by mistake, you get too much salt in the soup, add a small potato or some bland canned beans to absorb the extra salt.  Do this while the soup is still on the heat.  Needless to say, the potato will need to be cut into very small pieces to cook quickly, while you are thickening the soup.

Benefits:

  • onions–cancer-fighting; builds strong bones; protects against heart disease; antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral; relieves asthma and hay fever symptoms; lowers blood pressure
  • carrots–antioxidant; helps prevent bladder, cervical, prostate, colon, larynx, esophageal and post-menopausal breast cancers; inhibits tumor growth; protects eyes, helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts; immune system stimulator; helps prevent night blindness
  • celery–appetite control, suppresses carb carvings; lowers blood pressure; increases blood flow; lowers stress levels; good for joints, bones arteries and connective tissue
  • garlic–antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-parasitic;  helps lower bad cholesterol without lowering the good; reduces plaque in arteries; helps prevent platelets in blood from sticking together; cancer-fighting; helps prevent common cold
  • extra virgin olive oil–heart healthy; lowers back cholesterol and raises good; helps lower blood pressure; cancer-fighting; dilates arteries;antioxidant
  • ham–lean protein source
  • split peas–bone healthy; good fiber
  • thyme–powerful antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory; aids in digestion; relieves chest and respiratory problem
  • parsley–detoxification; inhibits tumors; anti-inflammatory and antibacterial; cancer-fighting; eye protecting; bone building; benefits kidneys and tissue renewal

Each ingredient has a nutritional purpose and a flavor purpose. And it just makes yo feel better! So there you have it!

Until next time . . . Eat on Purpose!

Happy Living!

Christia Sale

admin posted at 2010-9-7 Category: Nutritional benefits

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