It was a blustery day when I decided to make this soup for our latest post. I love the rustic texture and vibrant colour with a kick of heat from the black pepper. There is nothing more comforting from the kitchen than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day, so sit back and enjoy this one with a nice glass of red Burgundy and some crusty bread.
London - Jan. 20, 2012 - It was a blustery day when I decided to make this soup for our latest post. I love the rustic texture and vibrant colour with a kick of heat from the black pepper. There is nothing more comforting from the kitchen than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day, so sit back and enjoy this one with a nice glass of red Burgundy and some crusty bread.
Yellow Split Pea and Zucchini Soup (serves 4)
1 cup dry yellow split peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Spanish onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 medium or three small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp peppercorns, crushed
900ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 lemon, zest and juice set aside
Place the yellow split peas in a small pot, cover with water (a couple of inches above the peas), then bring to a rapid boil. Immediately turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. Let it sit for 1.5 hours without lifting the lid. Rinse and drain the peas, then set aside.
In the meantime, crush the black peppercorns with a mortar and pestle until you get a powdery but coarse grind. I find this method brings a wonderful level of heat to the soup, but if you prefer you can always use a pepper grinder.
In a large pot, heat the oil on medium and add the onion and celery. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add the zucchini and garlic, stirring on medium until the zucchini is softened but has not turned colour – about three minutes.
Add the pepper and turmeric to the vegetable mixture and stir. Add the stock and drained split peas. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn the soup down to a simmer. Salt to taste. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for an hour and 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now this is where the variable comes in. Sometimes the peas are cooked in an hour, but sometimes they take longer. Tasting is the best means of determining whether the soup is ready – if the peas are soft with a slight texture to the tooth, it is done. Don’t be alarmed if the soup tastes a little bland at this point; once you puree it, the flavours meld together beautifully.
Puree the soup in batches with a blender. Note of caution – always open the vent in your blender lid when pureeing hot liquids. (I always fill the blender to half when working with hot soup, or you could use an immersion blender directly in the pot.)
Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the fresh lemon juice. Serve with fresh cilantro leaves and grated lemon zest.