It’s been cold here lately! It’s like Old Man Winter woke up and realized it’s still winter so he decided to come back with a vengeance. According to my weather app, it’s now -17C with a windchill of -25C (1.4F and windchill is -13F). I can’t remember what it was yesterday, but there’s been no change at all. The only thing that makes it bearable is the sun. The sun has been shining and makes it seem less cold; at least that’s how it looks from the warmth of inside my home when I’m looking out the window.
I made split pea sunshine & saffron soup from My New Roots last night. I’ve been calling it split pea sunshine soup and then it morphed into sunshine soup. Either way, it was good and her soup recipes are always quick.
She recommends that you soak your split peas for at least 8 hours. However, she does say if you don’t have that time just soak them while you’re getting everything ready. I let my peas soak for about 5 hours yesterday. They will soak up the water so you might have to add a bit more while they’re soaking.
You’re going to chop up a butternut squash, leeks, and carrots. With the leeks be careful of how you slice them. You can’t just start slicing and then be on your merry way. Slice them right down the middle and you’ll see all the dirt and mud that’s inside.
I slice off a bit of the bottom (the white part) and then right down the middle. I then peel off the outer leaf(?) and then start rinsing like crazy. It’s amazing how much gunk gets inside, but because leeks grow partially underground you can see how the dirt and mud would get in between the leaves.
Slice up your clean leeks, carrots, and butternut squash. Don’t worry if it seems like you’ve got a pile and they’re just going to be WAY too much soup. It’ll all wilt in the soup as it cooks.
She does say to use four carrots: 2 for decorations…or carrot flowers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to make flowers out of carrots. I like the idea but I just don’t have the time. You might have some time on your hands and want to make some.
Get your saffron ready after you’ve finished chopping the vegetables. Put a pinch of saffron in a bowl and add a bit of hot water to it. I have SUCH a love for saffron.
Now here comes my favorite part. Put your spices and bay leaves in the pot and toast them.
I’ve never done this before until I started cooking recipes from a few people. When you do toast them, this most amazing aroma comes from them. I left out the cayenne in my soup. The smell that came from the cumin and paprika is hard to describe. It was just wonderful. Why do you toast spices? It helps to bring out the flavors. It essentially gives them a bit of a flavor boost.
Next, add your vegetables and let everything cook until they’re soft. Then add everything else and go sit on the couch for a bit while they simmer. I didn’t set a timer. I just got up when it was 15 minutes before we usually start eating.
Before you go on to the next step, fish out the bay leaves. I think I left one in there. It’s ALWAYS the last one that you can’t find! Then you’ll get your immersion blender and blend everything. You’ll go ahead and add salt and pepper to taste at this point too. I think I forgot to add the lemon juice. Oops!
When the soup is to the consistency and taste you want, go ahead and serve it up. We always have it with toast/bread because it is a kind of thick soup.
The little one thinks it’s fun to dip his toast in the soup. This soup is PACKED with nutrients, it’s quick, and it’s crazy easy. As always when you’re dealing with butternut squash, the longest part is peeling it. The other steps in this recipe are easy and quick. You even get to sit down and kick your feet up a bit! How great is that? Plus, there’s plenty for the next day. When your Hubs usually hates leftovers but takes this for lunch, you know it’s good.