Yellow Split Pea Soup

This is another very simple yet wonderful soup. It’s from a cookbook that my friend Louise used. She photocopied the recipe for me and I’ve made it many times since. It’s great because there are very few ingredients so you don’t have to go shopping for it. It’s really best for winter when you need thick, hot soup to sustain you. Remember to soak the split peas!

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 qt stock of choice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper

Soak the split peas by placing in a large bowl with plenty of cold water. Leave them several hours or overnight. Drain them, rinse them in fresh water, and drain them again. Set them aside.

Chop the onions and zucchini very small. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, and saute, covered, over low heat, until the onions are soft. Add most of the zucchini, reserving a generous handful, and saute uncovered, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Add the peas, stock, and turmeric and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender and falling apart to create a thick soup with a chunky texture, about 30-40 min.

Add the remaining zucchini and cook 3-5 min until they are tender, then season with salt and pepper and serve.


The original recipe says to blanch the reserved zucchini separately, but that’s a waste of a pot, in my opinion; it’s easy to just add them in at the end. The reason for reserving, which didn’t make sense to me until after I made the soup, is that the long-simmered zucchini turn dark green and very soft. The short-simmered ones are brighter and have more texture.

The turmeric is for color primarily — with it, the soup turns a beautiful dark yellow.

The original recipe recommended chicken stock. You could use it if you’re not vegetarian, but I recommend a good vegetable stock (which may take some searching around to find). With this soup the peas are so good you can even use water, but that’s not as tasty.

If you do forget to soak the peas (you will, at least once) you can pre-cook them for 10-20 minutes in boiling water during prep time. Then drain, rinse, and set aside covered. Drain again before adding. Soaking or pre-cooking reduces the gas-producing compounds in the beans and shortens the cooking time.

Leave a Reply

Your email will not be published. Name and Email fields are required.