Smokey potato split pea soup

A hearty soup, in case you are feeling like hiding away like a hermit and avoiding all those Halloween party invites.

The Kitchen Paper
This hearty smokey potato and split pea soup has more ingredients than costumes at a Halloween party.

You may or may not have noticed that it’s Halloween week – the most stressful week of the year. I joke, kind of, but also … I’m kind of serious. I have serious Halloween anxiety! I never know what to be! I spend way too much time thinking about what I’ll be, and never feel 100 percent (or even 80 percent) confident in my decisions. This leads me to want to hide at home and never participate and just avoid the entire "holiday" altogether. Anyone else?

Unfortunately, I can never convince the other people in my life to join my in my hermit-Halloween-hideaway celebration. They all say, “but we can go to this party” or “you HAVE to come to MY party!” or “we can’t be lame” or WHATEVER. Ugh. Obviously, it works on me. I have yet to fully skip a Halloween. This year, so far, has been no different. I’ve already agreed to show up to at least one party, and the manfriend is pretty gung-ho about the whole costume thing (which is great!), but: we haven’t thought of a good one!

To take my mind off of this holiday anxiety, I give you a recipe for this hot-diggity-dog soup. That’s an official rating system I just came up with. I had no clue what to name this, as usual, because it has 10 million delicious things in it: smoked paprika, split peas, potatoes, bay leaves, carrots, onion, garlic, chard, oregano, AND MORE. It started because Cindy mentioned how amazing Megan’s lemon lentil soup was, so I was like “oh, I’ll make it!” until I realized I actually had split peas, not lentils, and no lemons, but enough other things to “make” the recipe… a totally different recipe. So, inspired by Megan, completely hacked by me.

This soup was perfect half-blended: I stuck my immersion blender in there and gave it a few whirls — enough to leave some chunks, but enough to make it a bit creamy. PERFECTION!

Smokey potato split pea soup
Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1-1/2 cups carrots, chopped to 1/4-inch thick
2 cups diced potato
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry split peas
5 to 6 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
2 to 4 cups chopped greens (I used chard)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan & bread for serving

1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute before adding the smoked paprika and cumin.

2. Cook for another minute before adding the carrots, potato, bay leaves, and split peas.

3. Continue to cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to sweat.

4. Add the veggie stock, enough to more than cover everything in the pot, and bring to a simmer. Let it cook for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

5. Add the fresh oregano, greens, and salt & pepper to taste.

6. Blend as little or as much as you want, adding more liquid if needed to reach your desired consistency.

7. Serve topped with fresh Parmesan on top, and bread on the side.

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Roasted tomatillo and white bean soup

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