This lemony Yellow Split Pea Soup is filling, nutritious and most importantly, packed with flavour. Easy to make and perfect for freezing - try it today!
It is most definitely soup season at the moment, and if you're looking for something really hearty to fill you up on a cold and rainy day, this deliciously lemony yellow split pea soup should be top of the list.
Split peas are ridiculously cheap - a whole bag (which would make 10 portions of this soup) will set you back just 60p, so you can batch-cook this at the weekend, and have cheap, totally delicious and nutritious lunches all week, or stack up your freezer with individual portions.
And they are little nutritious power-houses too - packed with protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of lovely things that make vegans happy!
The lemon is absolutely the star of the show here - without it this soup would be pretty average - nothing special. But the lemon lifts it to a whole new zingy level, as does the fresh ginger.
As with many of my soups, I like to part-blitz it so that it thickens up but keeps some of its lovely chunky texture. But of course it is up to you if you prefer a super-smooth purée, or else an un-blitzed broth with all those lovely chunks in.
📝 What you need
Yellow split peas Rich in protein and fibre, packed with vitamins and minerals and fat-free, there's a lot to love about the humble split pea. They take longer to cook than dried lentils, but retain more texture so I like to mix them up in recipes. I often use half-and-half lentils and split peas in my Butternut Squash Dahl, for instance. Make sure you rinse your split peas well before using them - I put mine in a sieve under running water and mix them around until the water runs clear.
Leek Leeks mean soup to me, and are just so good as a base here with carrots, ginger and tomatoes. But by all means use an onion instead if you don't have a leek handy.
Fresh ginger Using fresh ginger (rather than pre-chopped from a jar) gives this soup such a brilliant hit of flavour - if you can get hold of fresh it is totally worth the extra 30 seconds of peeling and chopping time!
Tomatoes Split peas need a good hit of something acidic to liven them up, and the tomatoes do this brilliantly, along with the lemon.
Vegetable stock I like to use a vegetable bouillon powder - follow the instructions on the packet as to how much you need for 1 litre of water. Good quality stock cubes are fine too. Always check the ingredients for your stock powder/cubes as some contain a bit of milk powder.
Curly kale I'm a big kale fan, and love the texture of just-cooked roughly chopped kale in this soup. But any greens you have to hand will work well - spinach, chard, cavolo nero or even a little shredded savoy cabbage.
Lemon As I've said, this soup is all about the lemon so don't start making it until you have a lemon to hand! To get the maximum juice out of your lemon, roll it roughly on your work surface whilst still whole - massaging it to break up the fibres inside so they release all those little pockets of juice.
There’s no fancy equipment needed to make soup, of course, though to get a lovely thick and chunky texture you do need a way of part-blending it.
I use a stick blender which is so quick and easy as you just shove it in the saucepan, pulse a few times and you’re done. They are reasonably priced, you can pick up a basic model like this one* for just over £10 these days, and if you make a lot of homemade soup you won’t regret it.
Mine is this Dualit model* which also has a chopping bowl and whisk, both of which I use a lot.
Alternatively, if you have a blender or food processor you can separate out half the soup, blitz that to a smooth purée then return it to the pan and mix into the chunky half.
There are so many tweaks you can make to this basic soup recipe. Some of my favourites are:
- Make it spicy Add a sliced fresh chilli (or two!) at the same point you add the ginger. This is really good - I've tried it a few times.
- Make it curried Split peas are a perfect pairing for curry spices - add a teaspoon of garam masala and half a teaspoon of turmeric to the pan as you add the tomatoes.
- Make it creamy A generous slug of dairy-free cream or coconut cream adds a luxurious silky finish to this soup.
- Make it tomatoey Substitute in a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes for some of the vegetable stock, (use 600ml stock instead).
Can I freeze my Yellow Split Pea Soup?
Absolutely! This freezes really well so you can batch cook a lot at a time and freeze it in individual portions.
I do find that the lemony flavour is a little subdued after freezing, and the texture of the kale can be not as great as fresh so if you are making a batch to freeze I would suggest leaving out the kale, and then when you defrost add whatever greens you have to hand at the time, and also an extra squeeze of lemon too.
What else can I make with Yellow Split Peas?
I love this Yellow Split Pea Dahl recipe from River Cottage - it has such a lovely texture. Or as I said above I often use half-and-half lentils and split peas in my Butternut Squash Dahl or also in my Turmeric Lentil Soup recipe, (though you will have to increase the cooking time quite a bit for both recipes as split peas take roughly twice as long to cook as lentils).
Yellow Split Pea Soup with lemon and curly kale
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 leek
- 2 carrots
- 2-3 cm fresh ginger (or 2tsp ready-chopped ginger from a jar)
- 2 tomatoes
- 200 g yellow split peas
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 40 g curly kale
- 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
- Trim and finely chop the leek and add to the pan.
- Whilst the leeks soften, peel and chop the carrots into 1cm chunks then add to the pan.
- Peel and finely chop the fresh ginger and add to the pan.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan, with all their juices and seeds.
- Rinse the split peas thoroughly then add to the pan followed by the vegetable stock. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan with a lid, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the curly kale, removing any tough woody stalks.
- When the cooking time is up and the split peas are tender, use a hand blender to part-blend the soup so it thickens up but is still chunky. Alternatively, pour half the soup into a blender or food processor, blitz to a smooth purée then return to the pan.
- Finally, add the chopped kale and return to a simmer for 2-3 minutes, then stir through the lemon juice just before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
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