For this recipe, I started with a basic split pea soup and added a Moroccan-style spice combination to give it a subtly exotic flair.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
1 cup dried split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and saute for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the vegetable broth, split peas, coriander, cumin, paprika, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture almost to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or longer as needed, stirring occasionally, until the split peas have broken down and the vegetables are tender.
Uncover. Raise heat to medium or medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 more minutes, or as needed, to reduce the liquid as desired to a thick soup consistency.
Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving. Garnish each portion with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, as desired.
-- 2-3 servings