Yellow Split Pea Soup w/ Pepitas + Cilantro

May 31, 2011

These spring days in the Bay start out hazy and chilly, and end sunny and brisk – just warm enough that I don’t need a layer as I pedal with intention home from work, but cool enough that I wrap a scarf around my neck as Gunner and I slip out the door to unwind from the day in the waning sunshine. With Derek traveling more and more frequently of late, I have Gunner to myself and so look forward to these little walks around the park, or the shore, or just through the neighborhood. It’s a time to forget the fast-forward nature of the day, relax and recover from training and work, and be reminded by this Fuzzy Love of mine just how therapeutic the simple bits of life can be.

Returning home with daylight to spare, we head to the kitchen. Gunner alternates stations – grazing on his dinner, and crossing the kitchen to plop down on the rug beneath my feet as I prepare mine. Slowly, the quiet of dusk and the white noises of utensils tinkering fill the air and replace the buzz of the day as we recline into nightfall, cozying up on the couch with a movie and a fulfilling bowl of something, or pulling up to the table to read – I enjoying my creations while Gunner starts to doze beneath the benches, my feet resting gently on his little puppy belly as it rises and falls with his little puppy breaths, dreaming.

Cooking for one is fulfilling in this way, simple and meditative. Usually my preparations are only significant every couple of days, cooking a pot of beans or grains that can be multipurpose meals for packed lunches, or quick dinners. Or a pot of soup – bright and satisfying, quick and easy, and simply fresh when easily perked up with spring vegetables or herbs – like this one.

I choose to keep the consistency of this soup more as a stew and less as a puree – you could buzz it with an immersion blender if you choose. This being said, adding a bit more water or stock would lend to a more “soupy” texture – you’ll want to increase the quantities of spices you use if you add liquid.

Lastly, I tend to enjoy this as a “to taste” soup bar when Derek is home – he adds extra red pepper flakes and sriracha, I more cilantro and pepitas. I place all small quantities of the spices, herbs, and seeds in little finger bowls when we eat so that we adjust our bowls of spring comfort accordingly.

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