This split pea soup is a model of Moroccan food simplicity.
Another soup that costs pennies, takes minutes, and tastes like a million bucks. My Moroccan Split Pea Soup is vegetarian without even trying, and so much richer than the sum of its plebeian parts. This is practically my granddaughter Tsofia’s first solid food. And guess who fed her: Who better than yours truly, her Tuesday babysitter? All the delighted toothless smiles were ample reward to me, dribble and all. All children big and small love this split pea soup. I have noticed that children are, inexplicably, attracted much more to “yellow food” than to “green food”, and this is the reason I often make my split pea soup with yellow split peas: The flavor remains very much the same, sweet and mild.
Listen to what my friend Chaya Minna (Helen) Schwimmer wrote me about the soup: “Moroccan split pea soup is the new Jewish penicillin! I have been cooking chicken soup for my family for almost forty years, but it has been displaced by your Moroccan split pea soup. We all love it, from our three-year-old granddaughter to her grandfather and everyone in between. When I brought a serving over to a neighbor who was ill and she found that it was the only food she could tolerate, I gladly made her a batch each week. It is definitely the new chicken soup in our house!”
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 8 ribs celery, peeled and cut in large chunks
- 3 large carrots, cut in large chunks
- 1 pound bag green or yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 1 large bunch flat parsley, stems and leaves
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems cut off
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Put all but last ingredient to boil in a wide heavy pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, about 1 hour. Add pepper to taste. Cream with an immersion blender. Adjust texture and seasonings.