Split Pea Soup
This thick, rich, and satisfying pea soup is an all-time favourite.
- Wash the split peas and combine them with 2 litres water in a large saucepan. If desired for flavour, add the kombu. Bring to the boil and skim any foam that rises to the surface, then lower the heat and simmer with the lid ajar until the peas are tender (1 to 1 1/4 hours). Check occasionally, adding more water as needed. (It generally takes about two and a half litres of water total, but adding it all in the beginning might result in a thin soup.)
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is translucent. Add the carrot and celery and a small pinch of the salt and sauté for a few minutes more. Add a little water if necessary to prevent scorching, then cover, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover.
- When the peas are tender, add the sautéed vegetables, the other pinch of salt and bay leaf, and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Add a little more water, if necessary, and stir frequently to prevent scorching. (If the bottom burns, carefully pour the soup into another pot without scraping the burned portion.) Add the herbs and miso then simmer for 2 minutes more. Garnish with the parsley sprigs and serve hot.
John & Jan Belleme
John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.
For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.
In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.
Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.
John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.
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