Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Spiced Butter
In the English countryside outside Cambridge is a house called the Old Vicarage, which used to be the priest’s house for the church across the way. A wonderful family owns it and raised their six children there. In the summers, they rent the place to groups. The mother, father, and children do the cooking and serving. The food is always from their garden or bought from the local market or farms. The table for lunch fare is set with a large steamy bowl of soup, platters of garden-fresh salads, country bread, seasonal fruit, and a yummy dessert. This recipe is one of theirs. The creamy yellow soup is set off by a dollop of red spicy butter and served with warm pita breads. Any leftover butter can be used for topping potatoes, pasta, or tofu.
Mind Refresher: Stand straight, breathe normally, and take in the aroma of the soup; concentrate on this aroma for 30 seconds.
Total Timea day or more
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, healthy, high fiber, kosher, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturebuttery, garlicky, herby, savory, spiced, tangy
Type of Dishhot soup, soup
- 1½ cups (350 g) split yellow peas
- 6 cups (1½ L) water
- 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 large sprigs fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, the best you have
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup (125 g) butter, softened
- Fresh cilantro leaves (about ½ cup)
- 4 green onions, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons ground paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
Pour split peas into medium bowl, cover with cold water, and soak overnight.
Drain peas in colander, rinse, put into a soup pot, cover with 6 cups (1½ L) water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Stir in onion, mint, and olive oil; reduce heat to low.
Cover and cook 1 hour or until peas are tender when crushed against the side of pot.
Make butter while soup is cooking: Put all butter ingredients into an electric blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and chill.
Blend soup in an electric blender or food processor until smooth.
Return to soup pot and heat over medium heat until thickened.
Ladle into soup bowls and stir in a generous spoonful of spiced butter.
2008 Sharon Louise Crayton