Split-Pea Soup with Portobellos
- SERVINGS: 4
Meaty portobellos are especially good for adding substance and flavor to this soup, but shiitakes or other mushrooms will work well, too. You can also add a ham hock to the pot while the split peas cook, if you like.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 2/3 cups green split peas
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 9 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the split peas, parsley, water, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil, covered, until the peas are almost tender, about 35 minutes. Add 1 3/4 teaspoons of the salt and simmer 5 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf.
- Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat. Add the mushrooms and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the mushrooms brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the soup and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the Parmesan and pepper.
You'll need a white wine with body and lots of character to stand up to a hearty pea soup like this one. Greco di Tufo, with its full texture and big, nutty taste, is made for the job.