There is nothing better than a steaming bowl of split pea soup with your favourite piece of toast, when the weather starts to turn cold. I love using split peas in soups firstly because of their high nutrition and secondly because of their convenience. They also create a nice, creamy texture when pureed.
Dried peas are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Half a cup offers 32% of your daily recommended intake of fibre – and that is a lot of fibre in one dish!
Fiber is far from all that dried peas have to offer. Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein. As if this weren’t enough, dried peas also feature isoflavones. Isoflavones are phytonutrients that can act like weak estrogens in the body and whose dietary consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer.
Another really cool benefit of dried peas is it’s high source of molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like deli meats, salad bars, dried fruit and coconut, and unfortunately, wine. People who are sensitive to sulfites may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them. A cup of cooked dried peas provides 196.0% of the daily value for molybdenum.
There are many recipes in the world for split pea soups. I have experimented my fair share and really like this one. It is light, yet creamy and has a nice subtle flavour. It is a perfect soup that can be paired with a kale salad or just enjoy with a nice piece of toast. The game changing ingredient in the soup might sound funny but it makes all the difference. Adding a touch of acid (apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime) really brings out the flavours of the soup. I have been using this strategy for most of my soups and can really taste the difference. You should try it too – it will add a whole new dimension to your soups!
Split Pea Soup
- 2 cups dried split peas (1 pound), rinsed and picked over
- 8 cups vegetable stock, water, or a mix
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 cups celery, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leafs
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. apple cider
- 1 tsp. tamari
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make:
- Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the carrots, celery, peas, water/stock and herbs to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and, stirring occasionally let the soup go for 60 minutes, partially covered.
- Add the tamari, apple cider vinegar, and S & P to taste. Allow the soup to simmer for another few minutes, then remove the bay leaves.
- Transfer to a blender or cuisinart or use a hand-held blender stick and puree 3/4 of the soup (mostly the split peas) so that you get a nice creamy consistency. It’s nice to have some texture in the soup so I try to keep the carrots and celery in tact as much as possible.