Sunday, February 13, 2011

Broccoli and Split Pea Soup

I LOVE making soup!! It's super easy to make, and ALWAYS comes out great! Soup to me is comforting on all occasions, and one of it's greatest qualities is the nutritional value! I usually look up soup recipes from some of my favorite Chefs, and then adapt them into my own. When I first started making split pea soup, I followed the Anderson Split Pea recipe which can be found at this link: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/232/AndersonsSplitPeaSoup63578.shtml

Over time, I add new ingredients, and try new flavors. This version includes broccoli, which I LOVE! Broccoli has great nutritional value along with it's great taste! Broccoli is high in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium, Folate, and Lutein. Vitamin K is essential for the coagulation of blood which is important for the healing of wounds. If you suffer from a clotting disorder and/or take blood thinners, it's not recommended to eat a lot of broccoli.Vitamin A helps with vision and is required for the immune system, and the production of red blood cells. Broccoli is also high in Vitamin C which contributes to the attack of free radicals one might be exposed to in the environment. Fiber promotes digestive health and can also help lower cholesterol. I hope you enjoy this recipe for it's comforting taste, and it's nutritional value! The Broccoli is only one component I focused on, but many of the ingredients offer vital vitamins and minerals required to maintain a healthy diet! I believe it's important to nourish our body and souls with yummy healthy food! ENJOY!!!

8 cups of low sodium chicken broth
2 cups dried split peas
3 celery stalks chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 cups broccoli finely chopped
1 ham steak chopped into bite size pieces
6 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a stock pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add celery, onion, broccoli, and the ham into the warm oil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and then the Tabasco Sauce. Stir in the sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour in the split peas to combine with other ingredients. Cover with the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Sometimes I add a couple cups of water as it's cooking if the soup seems too thick. The starches from the split peas thicken the soup as it cooks. It's a personal preference how thick you want it. Remove whats left of the sprigs of thyme and ENJOY!

For an added bonus, pour some soup over a scoop of brown rice.

Most of the information on broccoli was found at:  http://www.mealsmatter.org/EatingForHealth/FunctionalFoods/Health-Benefits-of-Broccoli/

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