Thursday, March 22, 2012

Split Pea Soup w/ Garlic Basil Soda Bread

I know most of you are probably feeling the effects of spring with the warmer temperatures, doning light weight jackets and listening to the birds chirp.  Well unfortunately northern Japan is just not quite ready for spring :( Actually the day of spring equinox we were having snow flurries and accumulated about 2 inches of snow. esssshh I thought Alaska was bad about long winters, never thought I would have to deal with another prolong winter living in Japan. You know whats crazy if you drive 4 hours south the weather changes drastically.

 While I'm looking forward to warmer temps and blossoming foliage I will settle for a  warming comforting soup thats great for our still chilly "spring" days.  I also need a delicious bread to dip into this split pea soup, and since Soda bread is quick and easy to whip up while the soup is cooking its a great partner for this recipe.

Split Pea Soup
Adapted from Food
Yields 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 sprig fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
2 cups dried split peas
1 Teaspoon Garlic salt to taste (add at the end of cooking, if you add in the beginning the salt will prevent the peas from becoming tender)
freshly ground black pepper

This is my secret weapon when it comes to chopping a lot of veggies into small pieces The Chop Wizard! (its amazing when you have to cut a ton of onions)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat. add the carrot, celery, onion and thyme, season lightly with pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 

Add the stock and split peas, and bring to a boil quickly over high heat.
Lower the heat and simmer until the peas are tender, about  70 minutes.
Puree 2/3 of the soup in a blender and stir it into the remaining 1/3 or if you prefer more of a smoother soup you can puree the whole batch.

 Add salt and additional pepper to taste.

Garlic Basil Soda Bread
Adapted from Bon Appetit 

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil 
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Topping for the bread
about 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
dried basil and garlic salt to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, baking soda and garlic salt in a large bowl. Mix in buttermilk to form moist clumps if you still have a lot of flour left over add a little bit more buttermilk. Gather dough into a ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. spread minced garlic on top of the loaf and sprinkle with some dried basil and garlic salt. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

Note: It took my bread about 10 extra minutes to bake and even then it was still a little too soft, I believe my bread was just to tall, I probably did't keep it under the 2 inch high mark. Next time I think I will shape it more like a loaf spread out a bit to help it back better. 


  1. Yum! Homemade bread & pea soup, sound really comforting & delicious! I've never venture into bread making & these Garlic Basil Soda Bread sounds interesting!

    1. Thank u, bread making is totally new to me as well I just start about 4 months ago trying to make my own bread, its not as intimating as I thought it would be. hope you try and good luck :)


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