amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Green split pea soup

POSTED ON February 23, 2012

Green split pea vegetable soup with thyme

The mild weather, soft sunshine and blooming quince branches from the local green market are making me feel like spring has sprung. Although this soup is as warming as they get, it has the taste of sweet pea that will remind you of all the delicious flavors of spring to come.

Split peas, like all legumes, are rich in soluble fiber that helps balance blood sugar levels and assists in removing cholesterol from the body. They also help sooth digestion and support the spleen pancreas.


split peas after a night of soaking

pot with vegetables and pot with split peas

from above

quince blossom

Green split pea vegetable soup with thyme

Green split peas are one of those legumes that can take hours to cook if they are old. Always buy them from a place that moves stock fast and make sure they have a bright green color, not pale and faded. You don’t have to soak them overnight, but I think it helps with the cooking time. Green split peas don’t expand as much as lentils or beans.  They absorb water pretty quickly and can stick and burn easily, so stir them frequently.

2 cups green split peas
2 inch piece kombu
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
sea salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
3 small carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup diced butter nut squash
1 cup diced green cabbage
2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari, or to taste
Fresh black pepper
Chopped parsley or celery leaves to garnish
Flax or olive oil to serve
Soak split peas overnight in filtered water. Drain, rinse and place in a medium pot. Cover split peas with 1 ½ inches of filtered water and add kombu and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, scoop off foam that rises to the top, lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours. If the peas begin to boil over, crack pot lid a little and continue cooking, making sure that they are simmering at all times. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once peas are cooked the mixture should be creamy and peas mostly dissolved. This is the base of your soup, if it seems too thin for your liking, you can simmer uncovered while you prepare the vegetables. Don’t forget to stir them!

Warm olive oil in a medium to large pot over medium heat, add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, garlic and thyme and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
Stir in carrot, celery, butternut squash and cabbage. Raise heat to high, add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer vegetables for 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.

Add split peas and simmer 15 minutes longer, stirring every few minutes. Add umeboshi vinegar, tamari and pepper to taste. The soup will thicken as it cools, you can add more water to get desired consistency. Serve with chopped parsley, or celery leaves, as I did and a drizzle of flax oil.
Serves 4.

POSTED IN Gluten free, Soup

TAGGED UNDER: beans, soup, split peas

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  • K says:

    Decided to have split pea soup for dinner tonight – found your site via TableTonic and this is the first thing I come across!
    Looks amazingly delicious – very excited to try it out.

  • i’m generally not a pea soup girl but this looks delicious!


  • Natali Gill says:

    I just love everything about these pictures down to that barely pink glass of water. Your recipes all look so delicate yet the flavors complex.

  • Yannik says:

    Hi Amy – I discovered your blog after reading the article in Living’s January issue. I made (and devoured) all the recipes from that article and I now plan to work my way through your lovely blog. I started by making this Green split pea soup last night; my husband and I enjoyed it tremendously. Do you have any plans to write a cookbook? There is definitely room for your voice and your recipes on my bookshelf!

  • Laura says:

    I am so happy to have found your blog recently. So many gorgeous and seasonal recipes. Thank you!

  • such GORGEOUS photos and wonderful recipes!! I liked your green ‘washing’ with the pics too!!

  • Kimberly says:

    Just found your blog! Love it! Thanks for all your beautiful recipes and photographs.

  • Nichoel says:

    Love this soup! I made it yesterday morning to have for lunches this week. I did not use kombu, umeboshi vinegar, or tamari and I cooked the split peas in organic chicken stock. It is delicious!! I love the creamy texture of this soup. Thank you for the nourishing recipes!

  • Hi! I just discovered your blog and love it. I’ll continue to look for great recipes. Thanks!

  • Joyce says:

    In Holland we call this soup “Erwtensoep” or even better “Snert!”. Over here it’s a real winter-soup and it’s a big part of Dutch culture. Main ingredients are peas, celery root, onion, carrots and leek.
    Love your blog! Keep posting 🙂

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