Inspired by Hollie Moyer's recent potato soup posting (and photo idea, since it turns out soup in a pot is difficult to photograph and make look appetizing -- I am still figuring out how to photograph food...)
Last Wednesday, my sister Kaia Joye and four of her friends from the Island (doesn't calling it "the Island" make Catalina sound mysterious and like LOST?) stopped over for dinner on their way to Joshua Tree. We piled into the living room, sitting on every available surface, and drank wine from jam jars, ate crusty bread, salad with crasins, pears and sunflower seeds, and bowls of fall soup. This was the first time I'd tried this recipes, and one thing I loved about the final product is how beautiful it is with flecks of red tomato, orange squash, and ribboned kale against the yellow.
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Autumn Squash and Kale
(from Fresh From the Farmers Market, by Janet Fletcher)
2 T o.oil
2-3 oz (I'd say 3-4) pancetta, minced (you can buy it diced in a container at Trader Joe's)
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c dried yellow split peas
1 fresh rosemary sprig, 4"long
4 c chicken broth, plus more for thinning later if needed
1/2 lb peeled hard-shelled squash such as Kabocha or Butternut, diced
1/2 lb plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
1/3 lb kale or green chard, ribs removed
Heat oil in large pot over moderate heat.
Add pancetta and saute until it renders some of its fat, about 3 min.
Add onion and garlic -- saute until soft, about 10 min.
Add split peas, rosemary, 4 c broth, 4 c water
Simmer, cover and adjust head to maintain simmer
Cook until peas completely soft, 45 min-1hr
Taste often and remove rosemary when flavor is strong enough (should be subtle)
Season soup with S&P
Stir in squash and tomatoes
Slice kale into ribbons and stir into soup
Cover and cook until squash and kale are tender, about 20 min.
Think with broth of needed.
(it will thicken considerably as it cools)