Pea Soup: Holy Night or any night

by abbamoses

In our Carpatho-Rusyn church there’s a custom of having a strict-fast “Holy Night Supper” on the eve of Nativity and the eve of Theophany. The list of foods is traditional and includes pea soup. One peculiar result of this is that for some people pea soup has become a sort of cultic object rather than a normal food — they don’t seem to realize that pea soup is a quick, easy, enjoyable meal that they’re allowed to eat any time.

Here’s a very basic version. Quantities aren’t very important — use whatever vegetables you want; add more water if it gets too thick, add more peas if it gets too thin.

Holy Pea Soup
Cut up an onion, put it in a pot with a bit of oil, fry until it starts to brown.
Cut up a potato or two, a carrot or two, a stalk of celery or two. Toss them in the pot.
Cut up several cloves of garlic and toss them in.
Stir in about a tablespoon of curry powder (or chili powder).
Add about a cup of green split peas and 4 cups water.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the peas are thoroughly cooked and have turned into a green gook.

Adding diced tomatoes (a couple of fresh tomatoes, or a 15-oz can with the juices) is good too, though it compromises the green-ness.

This soup gains a lot of flavor if allowed to sit for awhile. The best plan is to make it a day ahead, put it in the fridge, and re-heat it.

Served with, say, bread and salad, it’s a complete meal.