Gumbo ffilé is the ground, powdered leaves of the sassafras plant, and it adds not only thickening, but a lovely earthy taste to this vegetarian stew. The winter squash in this dish can be butternut, acorn, Japanese kabocha, or any similar squash.
- 2 quarts water
- 2 c yellow split peas
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes (Knorr’s or similar)
- 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp gumbo ffilé
- 3 c potato, finely diced
- 1 c carrot, finely diced
- 1 c winter squash, finely diced
- 2 c frozen peas
- 1/2 c yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- In a large pot, boil the water and add the yellow split peas. Bring back to boil, cover, turn off heat, and allow to stand one hour to soften.
- In a skillet heat the oil over medium high and saute the onion for 3 minutes. Add the serrano pepper and saute another minute. Add these vegetables to the pot and mix in the bouillon cubes until fully dissolved. Bring the pot back to simmering over medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add the paprika, turmeric, honey, bay leaf, curry powder, gumbo ffilé, potato, carrot, squash and frozen peas. Bring back to simmering over medium low and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Stir in the yogurt and lemon juice just before serving. Extra yogurt may be served as a topping for this soup.