Yellow Split Pea Soup
Updated: Jan 11
Not your average split pea soup, this version is bright and cheery and so satisfying. A long-time fan of split pea soup, versions with bacon felt distracting from the pea flavor. While I love the sweetness of a green split pea soup, yellow split peas are earthly, delicious and grounding. They shine beautifully with the addition of a touch of spice called Vadouvan (can easily sub with some yellow curry) and a splash of fresh lemon juice to finish. Sunshine in a bowl.
Yellow split peas are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals including folate, iron and potassium. One cup provides 16 (!) grams of protein even more than 16(!!) grams of fiber! OMG that's a lot! And if that's not enough, the main ingredient of this recipe cost a total of $1.75!
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is sorely lacking in fiber, which is critical to improving gut health, reducing inflammation, managing weight, and helping to prevent chronic disease. This is a great dish if you are looking to up your fiber consumption. If you are a keto fan, this dish is high in (plant-based) carbohydrates but when combined with fiber, will not spike blood sugar. I prefer to focus on nutrition rather than calories (1/2 cup of cooked split peas contains only 115 calories) but this dish is notably low in calories especially when related to the high nutrient content.
Words that come to mind:
Ingredients you'll need on hand for the soup:
yellow split peas
vadouvan spice (or yellow curry)
sea salt & pepper
Ingredients you'll need on hand for the topping:
sea salt & pepper
Full disclosure: this recipe does require a bit of planning since you will need to soak your peas in plenty of water (they will expand!) overnight or for at least 8 hours. Since it takes a bit of prep, and a longer cook time, I recommend making a big batch so you can freeze some for later (soups freeze beautifully!). It works beautifully in an Instapot since it takes a long cook time and doesn't need any fuss once the vegetables are softened. If you don't want the leftovers, feel free to make a half a recipe. You may still have leftovers!
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms
Vegetable broth or avocado oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 TB fresh garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable broth (I like this one)
4 cups filtered or spring water
2 cups organic yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tsp Vadouvan (I love this brand), or sub yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp sea salt & 1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
Juice of half a lemon
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 TB avocado oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp dried thyme (can sub 1 tsp fresh)
¼ tsp garlic powder
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
Sprouts, coconut cream, hemp seeds optional for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat a large soup pot (7 qt min). Once hot, add broth or oil and coat the pan. Add onion and celery and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
Rinse split peas and add to pot along with broth, water, corn, Vadouvan (or sub with yellow curry), onion granules, turmeric, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer about 2 hours (cook time will vary according to soak time) until peas are cooked and tender.*
While the soup cooks, roast the mushrooms. In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the sliced mushrooms and toss to coat. Spread on the baking sheet, making sure to leave space in between mushrooms. Roast in preheated oven for 15 min(?). Remove from oven and set aside until soup is done.
When soup is done and peas are tender, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, or just enough to be cool enough to blend. At this point, you can either use an immersion blender to blend to a desired consistency, or put half of the soup (or more if you like a creamier consistency) in a blender and add back to the soup pot. Finish with a squeeze of half a lemon.
To serve, pour in a bowl and top with mushrooms and sprouts or hemp seeds.
*Note: you can also use a slow cooker with this dish. Just put all ingredients (excluding the fresh lemon and mushroom ingredients) in an Instapot and cook on LOW setting for 6 hours (may need longer). Roast mushrooms while soup is cooking. When soup is done, cool slightly and put half the soup in a blender. Return to pot along with remaining soup and heat if necessary. Finish with a splash of lemon and serve topped with roasted mushrooms and optional garnishes.
Now sit back, take comfort, sunnier days are ahead....
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