Split pea soup. Comforting, filling, and full of plant-based goodness. Yes, there’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of soup. This vegetarian (actually vegan) split pea soup is is warmly spiced with ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry and a little chilli. And has some extra goodness and heartiness added with potatoes and carrots. It’s super easy to make and it’s one of those soups you can enjoy for a few days in a row. And leftovers are fantastic! Which also means less time thinking about what to cook next!
There are about a million and one ways to make a split pea soup. The most traditional version I know of is the French Canadian recipe called Soupe aux Pois. It’s made with leftover Easter ham. And it’s delicious. With the intent of buying dried lentils and only being able to find “dried split peas”, I decided it was high time I develop a vegetarian or vegan recipe for pea soup. And here it is. This recipe reminds me a little like a Dhal since it is spiced with a mild curry and other spices. Plus it has a similar consistency. So maybe not so traditional, but definitely tasty.
Preparing split peas
Like so many dried legumes, they need time to soak and time to cook, so planning ahead is needed. This of course can be sped up with you have a pressure cooker. I don’t. So I prepare mine by soaking them overnight and then planning time to cook them. Which can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes, depending on their age. Which is when I usually sit back and listen to my Spotify playlist and read Harlan Coben’s Honeymoon.
I like to serve this vegan and vegetarian split pea soup with some crusty bread or a simple side salad for a full meal. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, and it actually tastes better as the flavours deepen!
Curried Split Pea Soup
- 300 g dried green split peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or ghee
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (mild)
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- a pinch of cayenne
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 medium potato, peeled and chopped (ca 300 g)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (ca 150 g)
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, plus 1/2 cup more to thin, if desired
- a squeeze of 1/2 of a lemon (optional)
Heat the oil or ghee in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium to medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Then add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry, chili, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
Then add the potato, carrot, soaked split peas, and broth. Gently stir the mixture and then bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for about 75 minutes until the split peas are soft (check at 60 minutes for doneness, as time depends on age of split peas).
Process a few times with an immersion blender, just to obtain creaminess but still preserving some texture from the peas…or as desired, depending on how you like your soup texture to be. I like mine on the more creamy side. Add more broth (or water) to reach the desired consistency, if needed.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice (if using), stir, and then taste and adjust any seasoning necessary.
Pour the soup into individual bowls. Garnish as desired (I like a drizzle of coconut milk or coconut yoghurt and micro greens or herbs). Serve and enjoy!
- For the curry powder I use “Curry Klassisch” from Lebensbaum. It can be found in organic food stores.
- Soup holds 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well.
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