Oh Split Pea Soup: Comfort Me!

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It’s been so dreadfully cold lately, warm soup is really the only thing I want to eat. I can warm myself with a hearty soup, but I cannot help but think about those who cannot keep warm. Those souls living on the street, those souls in dark, damp factory farms, those souls on frozen trucks to slaughter: can’t seem to get them out of my mind lately.

I think there is something really off with us if we can sit back and deny what is really going on. I made this beyond delicious split pea soup this week, and was horrified to find out non-vegans typically use ham as an ingredient. This soup was so delicious without ham, and so full of protein, iron and vitamins vegan-style, why would anyone want to add ham? When we could simulate the same flavours and textures we all know and love, without the horrific suffering that including animal products necessitates, why don’t we do it?

How many of us have contemplated the face behind the ham? Ham is a euphemism, just like the word veal or venison, for example. A ham is a pig. A pig is a highly intelligent, friendly, playful, social being. A pig loves hugs and playing with her friends, just like you and I. How can we make it OK in our mind to confine these beautiful creatures and make them endure a horrible short existence of suffering before they are shipped off in the freezing cold (or unbearable heat) to a slaughterhouse that knows no mercy?

How have we strayed so far away from the most basic form of decency towards other beings? How has our compassion been so completely numbed?

Did you know that animals arrive to the slaughterhouse with frostbite and hypothermia? Sometimes their tongues are frozen to the truck because they were so thirsty they tried to lick the moisture from condensation inside of the truck and remained stuck. Some animals are transported long distances for days, with no food or water, no temperature regulation, only to be treated with further extreme inhumanity once they arrive to their dungeon of death. Their lives of suffering are so horrible, so far worse than your worst nightmare, that perhaps the slaughterhouse is their only relief.

This is not right my friends. We must wake up, reconnect and become fully human. Reconnecting to complete compassion for all beings is spiritual maturity, spiritual evolution.

Enjoy my vegan Split Pea Soup and let the pigs live free.

Ingredients:

Makes 8 – 10 servings

4 cups dry yellow split-peas

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups of kale, chopped

8-10 cups of water

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil

½ teaspoon chili flakes

½ teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne

3 teaspoons sea salt (or more to taste)

2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)

Black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil on medium heat. Add onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Sauté for 5 minutes while stirring.
  2. Stir in carrots, celery, kale and chili flakes and sauté another 5 minutes.
  3. Add split-peas. Sauté 2 minutes.
  4. Add water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 50 minutes to one hour. Once the soup looks thick and puree-like, it is cooked.
  5. Add all remaining spices and liquid smoke (optional).
  6. Turn heat off and discard bay leaf. Add more sea salt if desired. Serve warm.

“Eating meat destroys the attitude of great compassion.” ~The Buddha, The Mahaparinirvana-sutra

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