Yellow Split Pea Soup

Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe


Over the past month yellow split peas have become a frequent go-to ingredient for me. Ingredients fall in and out of favor around here and past darlings have included staples like black lentils, farro, mesquite flour, ruby grapefruit olive oil and toasted hazelnuts. But somehow, until now, the charms of the yellow split pea have eluded me. Today's yellow split pea soup recipe changed that. I experimented with a few different directions to take the soup, and this version immediately became my favorite. It's a simple split pea soup base (similar in spirit to the one I did for the green split pea soup a few weeks back), but I topped this soup with a tzatziki-inspired yogurt dollop, a touch of mint, a spoonful of oily, finely chopped black olives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Healthy, beautifully textured, and colorful - it makes for a terrific lunch.

For those of you who like a bit more kick, I did a Thai-flavored curry version as well. Very similar to the recipe down below with a few twists - start with a small dollop of red Thai curry paste in a pot with a bit of oil, then add the onions, then add a blend of light vegetable stock and coconut milk (less coconut milk for a lighter soup), finished with a good handful or so of chopped cilantro.

Other recent soup recipes:
- Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
- Rustic Cabbage Soup
- Chickpea Hot Pot
- Cauliflower Soup with Gorgonzola
- Ultimate Chickpea Noodle Soup

 
 
 
 

Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe

I wrote this version of the soup instructing you to cook the split peas separately, this way if you want to double the amount of split peas you cook, you can save half for some other use. You can use a vegetable stock if you like in place of the water. I've mentioned before that I like Rapunzel Herb Bouillon with Salt (available at many stores), I use about 1/2 of one cube in a soup like this to kick things off - it makes a nice, light but flavorful broth. If you want to go 2% on the Greek yogurt, that is fine. You can find yellow split peas in the bins at many Whole Foods Markets (or natural food stores).

2 cups dried split yellow peas, picked over and rinsed
6 cups water

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
3 cups water

1 7-ounce container of greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded unpeeled cucumber, (deseed before shredding)
1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
scant 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
big pinch of salt

chopped olives
more olive oil to drizzle

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the yellow split peas, and cook for 20 -30 minutes, or until tender. Drain, salt to taste and set aside.

Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the cooked split peas and stock/water. Bring to a simmer and let cook for a few minutes. Now remove from the heat. Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Give the soup a taste, if it needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.

In the meantime make the yogurt topping by mixing together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, and salt. Set aside.

Ladle soup into bowls or cups, and serve each with a generous dollop of the yogurt, a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of chopped mint (any that was left on the cutting board), and a sprinkling of black olives.

Serves about 4.

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Your Comments


Michelle
March 6, 2008

I never really liked split pea soup (but I love peas), do yellow split peas have a different taste and texture?

Also, I made your tapioca pudding recipe using coconut milk instead last night but it lacks that certain sweetness that cooked milk has... I will prolly try using half milk and half coconut milk this weekend... any other suggestions?

Oh, and I promise... last comment. I saw your cookbook being sold in Anthropologie and thought that was pretty kick butt. : )

 

Sophie
March 6, 2008

Hmm, I'm intrigued by the idea of both a tzatziki style *and* an olive topping all in one go!

The thai version appeals very much. I still enjoy making your thai pumpkin soup with coconut milk - I'm sure it is the easiest soup recipe I know!

Maybe an indian style tarka topping (spices/chilli/onion fried in a little oil) would also work well?

 

Garrett
March 6, 2008

This sounds mighty tasty! Never been a fan of split pea soup but this method may just be the one for me.

 

bitchincamero
March 6, 2008

My husband loves split pea soup. I usually make it with green split peas and spinach and he calls it green mush. Maybe I'll surprise him with some yellow mush soon :)

 

Babeth
March 6, 2008

As usual your pictures are mouth watering.
I would never have though of tzatziki and slip pea soup association.

 

Mary Coleman
March 6, 2008

You consistently deliver fabulous, tasty recipes for us readers to try. This is dinner tonight.
Thanks Heidi!!!

 

Annie
March 6, 2008

How serendipitous. I was savoring a yellow split pea soup last night that I get at a falafel place down the street for a mere $2.50, wishing I had the recipe. Thank you so much, Heidi. I love our blog.

 

Jen (Modern Beet)
March 6, 2008

I love your addition of minted yogurt! What a great way to incorporate fresh herbs.
Also, I just bought some baby lima beans to make the 'Baby Lima Beans with Chipotle Broth' in your cookbook -- it sounds amazing!

 

Jeri lynn
March 6, 2008

I have a really basic question. I love pea soups (that's not the question...) but have a terrible time getting the peas (or lentils or beans or whatever) tender enough for my taste. Anybody have any advice? I may even soak them for as long as 24hrs before cooking, and they still end up with that bit of an edge to them. Fresher dried peas maybe?
Thanks!

 

Katy Kline
March 6, 2008

Would this work with split yellow mung beans?

 

Teresa
March 6, 2008

The problem that I find with your recipes, Heidi, is that I'm running out of room in my "favorites" file for all them... Can't wait to try this!

 

Heidi
March 6, 2008

Yes, let me know what you think. I forgot to note this in the write up, but to my taste buds the yellow peas have little/none of that that "cooked pea" flavor that puts many off the green split pea type dishes. So, if that has beena turnoff to you in the past, you might want to give the yellow peas a go.

Sophie - love your topping idea, I bet it would be beautiful as well as delicious.

Michelle (and others), yes - feel free to use my recipes as starting points. I write them to my taste, but I recognize people have such different preferences, likes, and dislikes. Go with what resonates with you once you get a feel for the technique and ingredients.

-h

 

radish
March 6, 2008

oh i LOVE yellow split peas - they are such a cheerful color in a bowl! this looks fantastic and tasty.

 

Lauren
March 6, 2008

This is so funny, I had a bag of yellow split peas in my cupboard for a while, and I just made yellow split pea following the recipe you posted for the other split pea (green!) the other day. And now you post this delicious looking yellow pea version, (which I had all the ingredients for) but never would have thought to put them together like that, you are so cleaver.

the olive toppings on soup sound wonderful.

 

katie
March 6, 2008

For some strange reason yellow split peas are more common here than the green. Still, it's been ages since I've done anything with them. Very interesting soup! I live the yogurt and olive garnish... (on anything!)

 

Jessica
March 6, 2008

That looks really good. I made yellow split pea soup a wile ago, yours looks much better!

 

Robert
March 6, 2008

You are right about the yellow split peas not having that cooked pea flavor. I think the yellow is a more subtle flavor and picks up the richness of the other seasonings. You might find adding a little ground corriander to the soup, paired with the flavoring of the greek tzatziki will really put this in a new orbit. Even our children love this and that is saying alot.

 

Kate
March 6, 2008

Just lovely! You always have the most wonderful pictures. ;) Glad the soup months aren't over yet...

 

Uncle Hannah
March 6, 2008

Luscious.

I admit I hadn't really cooked with split peas until recently. I bought a bag of the green variety and made a curried split pea concoction.

HOWEVER...I had the hardest time getting them to cook! I don't know what in the world I did wrong but I literally cooked them for over an hour and they FINALLY got softer (not crunchy) and even then some of them were crunchy and some of them were too soft. It was bizarre.

Any ideas, people?

Happy split peas!


Nice pre-Spring dish. :)


 

joyce
March 6, 2008

Love the Thai suggestion. Just happened to have made green split pea soup today - sort of a riff on Molly Katzen's version. But developing a wide repetoire of dishes using dried legumes is fabulous. Cheap, healthy, tasty eats!

 

Jocelyn
March 6, 2008

I've read and I've found that adding salt to split pea/ lentil soups does not allow for the beans to soften. You should add the salt after it has cooked.

 

lori
March 6, 2008

Genius. I love yellow split peas and would never have thought of this combination. Just reading about it made my mouth water. Time to go make it for dinner!

 

MissGinsu
March 6, 2008

Excellent timing! I was just thinking about how I use lentils constantly and I've never really done much experimenting with split peas. And the very different variation is a lovely bonus.

I'll be hungrily scouring the shops for yellow split peas to put in this weekend's stew...

 

Rebecca
March 6, 2008

Beautiful photo! The recipe sounds great, I have never tried split pea soup, if you can believe that! Can't wait!

 

i love the curried version; it's similar to my favorite lentil soup. i'll have to track down some yellow split peas and try that.

but i would venture to say that toasted hazelnuts *never* goes out of style

--michelle @ thursday night smackdown

 

noodle
March 6, 2008

I often have the same problem with split peas not cooking away properly. I often buy the wrong type. In south africa we have pea dhall, oil dhall and garam dhall. Only pea dhall cooks soft, and thats after 2 hours of boiling!

 

marissa
March 6, 2008

Oh my gosh this looks so delicious. This will have to be made this weekend to go with the bread of the weekend mmm mmm

 

Susanm
March 7, 2008

Heidi,
I've never run across anyone but you who fries the onions with the salt. You seem to do it consistently: could you comment, please?

Everything I've tried new these past months has been from your blog. It's given me a new lease on cooking. Thanks!

 

connie
March 7, 2008

oh goody! i have a lot of yellow split peas just sitting around

 

Maninas: Food Matters
March 7, 2008

Great idea! I always put a dollop of yoghurt on my pea soups, but I never thought to add tzatziki on top! Sounds great to me!

 

Anonymous
March 7, 2008

i've got 2 say u re a great person 2 put up dis idea

 

carrie
March 7, 2008

I just LOVE your big wooden table that you take all these marvelous pictures on! I wish I had one!!

 

blackHat
March 7, 2008

i made a yellow split pea soup a few months ago that very closely resembled yours, however, i added finely chopped broccoli, and ever-so-slightly curried the mixture. i served it over a big slice of your yeast-raised cornbread. Delicious...

 

Kimberly
March 7, 2008

Oh Heidi, yum. I lived in Stockholm a few (ahem) years ago . . .so many years ago that there were no "whole foods stores" and yellow split peas were difficult to find in the U.S. I used to bring them back with me, heavy as they were, in my suitcase.

I'm new to your blog but am making up for lost time rapidly. I baked the delicious Great Chocolate Chip Cookies from David Lebovitz's Great Book of Chocolate you posted, and excitedly displayed a photo and review on my web journal.

Your recipes are precisely what I'm always looking for: fairly easy to prepare, whole foods, nutritious and delish. Thank you!

 

Anna
March 7, 2008

I LOVE how simple this recipe is. I'm always looking for new soups to try and this one looks like a winner! thanks

 

Leslie
March 7, 2008

If you're having trouble cooking the peas or dried beans, it may be your tap water is very "Hard". I rinse legumes w/tap water and then cook w/bottled water, spring-fed.

Love this web site, Heidi!

 

Della
March 8, 2008

I cooked the traditional-style split pea soup all the time using a crock pot and smoked turkey instead of ham hock. This is a good idea of leaving some of the peas whole for texture. I may use this idea for my split pea soup in the future

For your version of the recipe, I would like to try this recipe also and is thinking of adding curry and ginger to the soup.

Thanks for the recipe

 

Sarah
March 8, 2008

This looks great! I just made a large batch of your recent lentil soup recipe, which I love (even for breakfast). As soon as I finish those leftovers, I'm going to buy some mint and make this!

 

Gastro Team
March 8, 2008

Hi
We thought your great bloggers might be interested in our culinary newsletter. Lots of facts & tips. Just go to
www.e-bookshopper.com/recipes.htm
to sign up.
Great site.
Thanks

 

noble pig
March 8, 2008

Those all look wonderful. I have really been into soup lately and I see two I'd like to bookmark and try.

Thanks!

 

Natalie
March 8, 2008

I am sick and I just called a friend and asked her to go get the ingredients for this (minus the yogurt, which would be back for my throat), but this is so easy, how great. Will have to try it again with the yogurt.

Thanks for an easy recipe even a sick girl can make. :)

 

Rachel
March 8, 2008

Heidi, a knowledgeable friend recently told me that the reason our (green) split peas here in the Middle East take forever to cook are because they are a variety from India and this is characteristic of them, very different in cooking time from what is available in the US. A couple weeks ago I made your wonderful lemon-scented, smoky paprika green split pea soup and I cooked those peas for 6-8 hours and they *still* barely finished cooking! I was about to give up. Eventually, they did cook down enough to use, although there were still isolated peas that were a bit too crunchy. I never salt beans or legumes before cooking, so it wasn't a salt problem. In any case, it was worth it, and we've been enjoying extras I froze. My husband, never a fan of regular split pea soup, took one bite of the green split pea soup, paused savoring it and said "Don't ever make the other kind again. Only this!" So I look forward to trying this beautiful yellow split pea soup recipe. I'm sure it will be equally delicious.

Thanks so much, Heidi!
Rachel

 

Anita
March 8, 2008

Made your soup recipe this evening. It was yummy. I just love your recipes!

 

Nivedita
March 9, 2008

Heidi,
I've been a lurker for a while but never commented. Thanks so much for your amazing recipes, photographs, and your excellent writing.
For those of you who are having trouble with your dal cooking fast enough, try cooking in a pressure cooker or rice cooker. The rice cooker has a tendency to boil over, but if you watch it and open the lid every now and then, your split peas will cook pretty fast, in about 20 minutes. I'm a medical student and without that little trick, split peas would be out of the question for me.

 

Christine
March 9, 2008

I'm really not a big split pea fan, but will give anything a try. Soup and sandwiches are always a quick and easy meal in my house!

 

Carla
March 9, 2008

Heidi, I have been checking your recipes daily but this was the first one I made.
We had a big snow storm last night and I decided to cook some comfort food. I made the Thai version of this, with coconut milk and curry. My husband, an admirer of all Asian flavors, could not stop eating. Great recipe!

 

Paul
March 9, 2008

I love all your soup bowls, could you point me to an online store where I could get them?

Great recipe!

Paul

 

kate
March 9, 2008

mmm . . . this looks great. these kings of soups are a staple of my winter diet. I've been making this red lentil soup a lot lately http://cookingthehardway.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/red-lentil-soup/

 

Jak
March 9, 2008

So weird! I made a delightful yellow split pea soup as well, last month, in the heart of Chicago winter (which for those of you who don't know, is no more fierce than other midwest winters, people just complain about them more).
Mine incorporated yellow curry powder, nutmeg, and finally a few chickpeas, as I took the theme of "yellow" to its ultimate limits.
I love the yellow split peas; they remind me of sunshine.

 

George
March 10, 2008

I just love split pea soup and this recipe looks amazing. A must try :)

 

Michael Natkin
March 10, 2008

I really like some acid in this kind of soup. Either a healthy shot of lemon juice or tamarind concentrate works well. With the lemon juice, I wait til the end to keep some of the fresh flavor.

 

Anonymous
March 10, 2008

Excuse me for my OT, I was reading about your favourite books and I found out (looking at the one of Jamie Olivier) that you love my region, Puglia (Italy).....
Wonderful, so I imagine you have been there and you have enjoyed our food!!!

I'm often talking about my region on may blog, unfortunateli it is in italian only...

PS: I tried your egg curried salad recipe, very veri good! very

 

Elvira
March 10, 2008

Excuse me for my OT, I was reading about your favourite books and I found out (looking at the one of Jamie Olivier) that you love my region, Puglia (Italy).....
Wonderful, so I imagine you have been there and you have enjoyed our food!!!
I'm often talking about my region on may blog, unfortunateli it is in italian only...
PS: I tried your egg curried salad recipe, very veri good! very

 

new horizons
March 10, 2008

Hello Heidi,

Yours is a familiar recipe, as I love the yellow peas. I experiment more with them and the light red toor dal, as both are milder flavors than green split peas.

BTW, I found a few packets of green split peas which had been buried in a drawer in my pantry, and no matter how long I cooked them, they never softened. It's really important to rotate your pantry and be organized!

Both soups I made with those 2 packets were spoiled in their texture, so it just wasted all the great, fresh ingredients.

People don't normally think dry beans and peas have a shelf life, but they do!

I'll make your version of this soup next time!

Take care, and thanks.

 

Dana
March 10, 2008

This sounds delicious. One of my favorite Ethiopian dishes is made from yellow split peas -- I bet this would taste similar!

 

Heidi
March 10, 2008

Paul,

I pick up bowls and plates here and there. I like to look through yard sales and flea markets. But these I actually picked up at Crate & Barrel. -h