We had two beautiful days in central Pennsylvania. The weather was warm and sunny. We took walks and the kids rode bikes and played basketball. We cooked our dinner on the grill and then ate outside under the glow of lights strung across our screened-in porch. You could almost believe it was a beautiful spring weekend. You could almost forget what was going on in the world. Almost being the key word here. Unfortunately, the soundtrack of our lives these days is the news, and the news is grim. Today, the rain has come and the weather seems more fitting for the turmoil swirling both beyond the confines of our yards and within in so many of our hearts. But sun or rain, good news or bad, we keep moving forward, finding comfort where we can.
Food is my comfort, as it is likely for you, too. We can discuss the physical and mental health perils of that at another time (maybe). For now, we are all looking for comfort wherever we can find it and if it’s food, then so be it! This soup has been my comfort this week. It is bright and nourishing, and exactly what I wanted and needed. As a bonus, if you keep a gluten & dairy free pantry, this soup is likely made from staple ingredients that you already have and does not require a trip to the grocery store. Yellow split peas are ideal, but if you only have green, just use those. It’s the perfect soup for a rainy Saturday! Get it started and while it cooks, break out a puzzle and an audio book, as Olive and I have been doing. Food is is a definite comfort in my world, but Harry Potter and puzzles is a very close second!
Be well friends. Stay home as much as you can, wash your hands often, and make lots of soup!Print
Golden Lemon Split Pea Soup
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
2 Tbl. fresh minced garlic
1 Tbl. grated fresh ginger
1/2 Tbl. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbl. sea salt
1 lb. yellow split peas (or green work fine too)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can full fat coconut milk
Juice and zest from one lemon
Additional lemon wedges & olive oil, if desired
1. Pour split peas into a mesh colander. Remove any discolored split peas and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
3. Add turmeric, salt, cumin, broth, water, and split peas. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, until split peas are cooked through.
4. Add lemon juice, zest, and coconut milk.
5. Keep soup as is or for a smoother consistency, remove one-half of the soup and blend until smooth. Pour blended soup back in the pot.
6. To serve, top with fresh cracked black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and an extra wedge of lemon.
- Makes approximately 9 cups
- Soup freezes very well
Is there anything more comforting than roasted chicken for dinner? If I was being honest with myself, I would have to say that doughnuts are at the top of my list of comfort foods, so far ahead of other treats that they may as well be the only thing on the list. Sadly, despite my undying devotion and publicly-expressed love of those little gems of fried dough, doughnuts no longer like me, so I have had to find comfort in other foods. Which is how we got here, talking about chicken.
Roasting chicken sounds like something that should be difficult, but it isn’t. Bypassing the whole chicken and just buying all split breasts makes the process even easier because all of the meat is going to cook together and you don’t have to worry about the breast drying out while you wait for the legs and thighs to cook. If your breasts are all about the same size, they should cook in about the same time. Look for packages labeled split breasts that still have the skin on and rib meat included.
These muffins start with my favorite lemon muffin recipe from Cooking Light. Olive oil and ricotta cheese replace the butter in this recipe which results in a perfectly tender muffin. I have made several variations of these muffins over the years but most recently I added poppyseeds and an earl grey glaze and I think it may be my favorite yet. Admittedly, topping these muffins with a glaze pushes them into more of a treat category than a snack, at least from a caloric standpoint. But the glaze is really nice and unexpected. Infusing cream with some earl grey tea gives it a decidedly floral taste which complements the lemon muffin. Originally, I had hoped to post these last week before Mother’s Day, because they would be so lovely as part of a Mother’s Day Brunch. But that didn’t happen. Life happened. So here they are, a week late, but no less delicious. :)
This time of year is kind of like a no man’s land of seasons. It’s technically still winter, but for those of us in the northeast, spring is just around the corner and we are so over winter we cling to whatever hint of warmth and sunshine we can find. From a food standpoint, that means lemon. Lemon everything. Lemon cake, lemon bread, lemon chicken. It’s brightness and acidity are a sharp contrast to the warmth of chili and cinnamon that have permeated most of our winter cooking. This time of year, cooking with lemon is as close as you can get to harnessing a little bit of sunshine on an unseasonably warm day and pouring it into the food you cook. It’s brightness warms you up just as much as any bowl of hot soup.