Recipes with Cardamom: Pea Soup

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Cardamom is most commonly referred to as the queen of the spices.

Serves 4 to 6

Cardamom adds its clean, pungent ­flavor to this unusual split-pea soup.

• 2 cups dried green or yellow split peas
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
• 1 ham bone with some meat attached
• 10 cups water
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom
• Salt to taste

1. Place the peas in a sieve, remove any stones or other debris, and rinse with water. Warm the oil in a 4-quart or larger pot over moderate heat. Add the onions and sauté until transparent. Add the peas, bone, water, sugar, and the smaller amount of cardamom. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat.

2. Simmer over very low heat for about 2 hours. Stir ­occasionally so that the peas don’t stick to the ­bottom of the pan. Add more water as needed.

3. When the peas have disintegrated, remove the bone and adjust the seasoning with a little salt and/or more ­cardamom. Serve immediately.


Cornelia Carlson exercises her passion for growing tropical spices in her San Diego-area home. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is the author of The Practically Meatless Gourmet (Prima, 1996).

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