This video comes to us from an awesome Philly-based project called #cookthatjawn. Cook That Jawn was conceived at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to help Philadelphians cook with the food provided in the free food boxes the city distributed each week. Local chefs and food activists shared how they would cook an ingredient from the food boxes in easy-to-follow recipes that are approachable to home cooks. Cook That Jawn asks viewers to chip in to help Philadelphia get through this crisis by donating to the PHL COVID-19 Fund.
Everyone should have a good back-pocket soup recipe, one that turns a few pantry staples into a nourishing, comforting meal that can be shared with family or friends, or tucked into the freezer for future meals. If that recipe uses a slow cooker to save on time (and dishes!), even better! This yellow split-pea soup comes from Philly-based chef artist-activist and social entrepreneur, Kurt Evans. Inspired by the Southern-style dishes he would prepare as a child with his grandmother, Evans has been a pro chef for over 14 years, working in a number of restaurant kitchens, like South Jazz Kitchen and Booker’s.
He also founded the End Mass Incarceration dinners, a series of multi-course meals meant to foster dialogue between families impacted by mass incarceration, community members, policymakers and law enforcement officials. Guests at the EMI are encouraged to engage in conversations about prison reform while enjoying Evans’ skillfully prepared food. He also organized the Cooking for the Culture dinner series, which spotlighted black chefs, and is establishing a workforce development program called Down North Pizza, which will create a fair wage, equitable workplace for its formerly-incarcerated employees.
Evans is also one of the organizers of Everybody Eats, a collaborative mutual aid group founded by Philly food professionals. Everybody Eats is dedicated to building community, nourishing hungry people and leading the community in the fight against hunger with bi-weekly chef-led food and essential drives at various locations in the city. They are also working to establish an Everybody Eats Cafe to provide the community with access to healthy foods and education around making wholesome food choices. To donate or get involved, check out the Everybody Eats website!
Chef Kurt Evans’ Yellow Split Pea Soup
- 1 pound yellow split peas
- 1 pound collard greens
- 1 smoked turkey ham
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 Sazon vegetable seasoning pack
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, sort and rinse the dried peas thoroughly. Check for any unwanted debris and discard.
- In a sauce pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, pour over peas then cover and let sit overnight.
- In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker or stock pot, add all ingredients plus 5 quarts of water, including Sazon flavor packet. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours, or on low 7 to 8 hours. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Video and recipe: Kurt Evans for Cook That Jawn
- Feature photo: BigStock