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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • 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!

    joyce
  • 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. :)

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

    Kate
  • 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.

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

    Jessica
  • 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!)

    katie
  • 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.

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

    radish
  • 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

    Heidi
  • 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!

    Teresa
  • Would this work with split yellow mung beans?

    Katy Kline
  • 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!

    Jeri lynn
  • 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!

    Jen (Modern Beet)
  • 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.

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

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

    Babeth
  • 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 :)

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

    Garrett
  • 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?

    Sophie
  • 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. : )

    Michelle
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