Monday, September 19, 2016

Ginger Kale Yellow Split Pea Soup

     A Nice Tasting Soup for the Change of Seasons!
     When there is a seasonal change of temperature the body adapts to the conditions.  Part of the adaptation is cravings for nutrients that fuel the adjustment.     
     China and India are two cultures that have studied the effects of food on the human body since ancient times.  Both cultures understand that food has both nutritional value and medicinal value.  Certain kinds food can help the body to adapt to environmental conditions.  Many European cultures refer to these kinds of beneficial food as tonic.  The key root word of "tonic" is tone.  Maintaining a healthy tone is the goal of any good dietary practice.  
     Today's Ginger Kale Yellow Split Pea Soup recipe was designed for those who look upon food as being preventative medicine.  Ginger and kale both have medicinal value.  Ginger is a mild blood thinner, an arterial tonic and it is a strong antioxidant.  Ginger tones metabolism and it rids the body of toxins, which in turn enables the body to be more capable of adapting to climatic change.  Kale offers many micronutrients that are necessary for healthy cell production.  Yellow Split Peas are loaded with protein, calcium and fibrous carbohydrates.  Yellow Split Peas are nearly a complete meal on their own.     

     Ginger Yellow Split Pea Soup:
     This recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups.  (2 petite portions or 1 hearty portion)
     Ginger Kale Soup and Yellow Split Pea Soup are traditional Caribbean soups.  This recipe combines the ingredients of both soups and the result is a healthy hearty soup that is perfect for chilly weather!
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of small chopped onion.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of small chopped celery.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of small chopped carrot.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced ginger.
     Gently sauté till the onions turn clear in color.  
     Step 2:  Add 2 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth).
     Add 1 1/3 cups of water.
     Add 1/2 cup of yellow split peas.
     Step 3:  Raise the temperature to medium high heat.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of galangal powder.  (Thai Blue Ginger powder)
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of blue agave nectar.  
     Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add 1 pinch of ground sage.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Season with sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Simmer the soup, till the split peas become fully cooked and soft.  
     *Allow the liquid to reduce.  Only add water if the split peas are exposed.
     Step 5:  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the soup to cool to less than 100ºF.
     Puree the soup with a blender, immersion blender or food processor.    
     Step 6:  Place the pot of soup over medium low heat.
     Bring the soup to a simmer, while stirring occasionally.
     *Check the consistency of the soup.  The soup should be a medium thin puree consistency that easily coats a spoon.  If the soup is too thin, simmer and reduce the soup over low heat.  If the soup is too thick, add water.  The finished volume should be about 2 1/2 cups. 

     Ginger Kale Yellow Split Pea Soup:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Fresh kale is chiffonade sliced and the thin kale ribbons are added as a finishing touch.  The soup must be piping hot when the kale garnish is added or the kale will not wilt when it is stirred into the soup.  
     Step 1:  Bring the soup to a simmer over medium low heat.
     Ladle the hot soup into a large 10 ounce soup cup.  (A deep large soup cup will prevent rapid cooling!)
     Step 2:  Float 3 tablespoons of thin kale chiffonade on the surface of the soup. 
     Place the large soup cup on a doily lined plate.

     Viola!  A healthy Caribbean soup that has a nice color too!        

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