Traditional Czech Christmas Pea Soup

TRADITIONAL CZECH CHRISTMAS PEA SOUP

Christmas Eve is the BIG day in the Czech Republic, we have a Christmas dinner and open our presents in the evening. In my Czech/English family we mix customs from both countries. We still have our main meal on Christmas Eve, usually inviting few friends over. Presents, however, we open on Christmas day, as it is customary in the UK.

The same applies to our food, we mix some Czech traditional dishes (split pea soup, braised red cabbage. potato salad), few English ones (bread sauce, sprouts, cranberry sauce, roasted parsnips and carrots) and as there is no turkey or carp (Czech traditional Christmas meal) on our table, we are free to try a new dinner centre piece each year.

Traditional Czech pea soup has definitely earned its place on our international menu. I have had it made the same way, on the same day, for last 40 years! In our house it happened to be purely vegan. The only change I made was the addition of frozen peas, for color and sweetness. Every year I wonder why I only make this delicious soup on Christmas Eve.

TRADITIONAL CZECH CHRISTMAS PEA SOUP
You may have to increase the cooking time (each batch seems different), the peas should be very soft before the soup goes into the blender. If you are making the soup ahead make sure you have some water on hand, it thickens as it stands.

Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a light meal

ingredients:
1 1/4 cup (250g) split green peas, soaked overnight and drained
1 medium to large carrot, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, with the leaves, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp dried marjoram
6 cups (at least) of water
2 tsp of vegan stock powder (I use Marigold)
1/2 cup (125ml) frozen peas
bread for making croutons about one small slice per person ( I used a spelt and sunflower loaf, but any good quality bread will do, no pre-sliced white!!!)
1 Tbs of canola or olive oil

method
In a large saucepan (stock pot) combine the split peas, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, marjoram and water.
Bring to a boil, turn down the hear and simmer, covered, for about 1 hr. The peas should be very soft.
After the hour of cooking add the stock powder and cook for further 10-15 min just to let flavors combine.
Puree the soup in a food processor till smooth. Add more water if the soup is too thick.
Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and add the frozen peas, heat up only.
While the soup is cooking cut the bread slices into 1 inch cubes. Place into a bowl and combine with the oil.
Spread the bread cubes onto a baking tray and broil ( grill ) until golden brown, about one on each side. You can make the croutons well ahead.

Serve the soup with the croutons on top.

Merry Turkey Free Christmas :)

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About plant strong living

I am originally from the Czech Republic now living in the UK with my husband, two kids and two dogs. I have been a vegetarian for about 12 years, but have taken a more plant based route since reading The China Study last year. Currently I am studying Naturopathic Nutrition at the College of Naturopathic Medicine. My aim is to introduce people to the idea that food can be your medicine. www.plantstrongliving.co.uk
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