When I think of split pea soup, I think of my grandmother, even though I never tried her recipe. By the time I was old enough to begin liking green things like pea soup, I had already become a vegetarian and the main flavoring component of her soup was a huge piece of ham. But, I think Grandma would be proud: this split pea soup recipe is easy, super cheap and deeply nutritious. When doing research for this recipe, I learned that just one cup of cooked split peas contains 65% of your daily value of fiber, which helps with so many digestive issues and keeps our bowels from getting backed up. It’s also super high in molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps our cells detox. One serving of peas as almost 200% of your daily value!
Not only that, split peas are super mega amazingly cheap. At my local health food store one pound of organic dried peas costs just $1.79. When cooked, each pound is at least four servings. Since the other main ingredient here is water, it makes for a pretty cheap meal all around.
And did I mention that it’s super delicious too?
Creamy Split Pea Soup
3 cups dried green split peas
Water as needed
¼ cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 Tablespoon fresh or dried thyme
8 cups vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons sea salt (more if using water)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1½ teaspoons smoked salt
- Rinse the split peas in water. Add to a very large glass bowl and cover with as much water as will fit in the bowl. Soak overnight (or about eight hours). (Note: many of my students said they never soak their peas, but in my experience soaking legumes helps with digestibility and makes your cooking a bit more energy efficient.)
- Drain and rinse the peas with fresh water.
- Cooking Method One: In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, carrots, celery and leeks. Let cook until vegetables are soft and slightly browned. Stir in thyme.
- Add vegetables and soaked peas to slow cooker and cover with broth. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until peas are very soft. Check periodically to ensure there is enough broth.
- Cooking Method Two: In a large stockpot, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, carrots, celery and leeks. Let cook until vegetables are soft and slightly browned. Stir in peas and thyme and toss to coat. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for half hour to 45 minutes.
- For both methods, when peas are very soft and creamy stir in salts and pepper. Let simmer another five minutes. Divide into serving bowls and enjoy. Soup will thicken considerably when stored in the fridge and may need to be thinned with water or broth before reheating.