Yellow Split Pea Soup with Cactus and Hominy
This Southwestern soup is more like a stew. I was taught how to make it by fusion chef Dona Abramson. The Mexican specialty ingredients are increasingly available in ethnic sections of mainstream markets, and certainly in specialty and gourmet shops.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 12
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram or oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound dried yellow split peas
- 2 quarts vegetable stock or water
- 2 ancho or guajille chili pods, oven-toasted for 2 minutes at 350 degrees, seeded, boiled for 5 minutes in a cup of water, and puréed in a blender
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 can (30 ounces) hominy corn kernels, drained and rinsed
- 1 small can (15 ounces) cactus (a.k.a. nonpalitos), drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Croutons (optional)
In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive oil for 1 minute. Add onion, celery, and carrot; cook for 5 minutes, until onions turn translucent.
Add marjoram, cumin, coriander, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute more.
Add split peas and stock. Raise heat to high and bring to a full boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Add puréed chili and cook 45 minutes, until peas are very tender and starting to fall apart.
Add hominy and cactus; bring back to a boil. Cook 1 minute more; season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and croutons.