Sweet yams and earthy greens add a new level of excitement to traditional split pea soup. This recipe is very easy to make and yields a large pot of soup, perfect for a family dinner or lunches for the week.
Fill a large soup pot with the water and split peas and bring to a boil. Turn down to a low-medium boil (not a simmer) and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the onion, yams, potatoes, celery and dried herbs/spices, and continue to cook at a medium boil for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. (Add a little water as needed if soup gets too thick.) Add in the greens and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot. Optional: garnish with chopped tomatoes.
Add barley: You can substitute ¼ cup of barley for a ¼ cup of the split peas (if you are not sensitive to gluten). This results in an even heartier soup.
Soup texture: Create a smoother soup by using a handheld potato masher or electric immersion blender, or by pouring half or all of the soup into a blender or food processor (cool a bit first before doing this so there is no danger of burning yourself).
Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes are my favorite to use in this soup since they are so naturally buttery and creamy, but any kind of white potato can be used. Same for yams: any type or sweet potato can be used. I like to peel my potatoes for this soup, but you may also leave the skins on.
Onion/garlic: Two teaspoons granulated or powdered garlic may be used in place of the fresh cloves. I like to chop the onion using my food processor because it gets the pieces very small without making my eyes water.