Despite it being Easter this coming weekend, with the snow still thick upon the ground up and down the UK, I don’t feel too bad about posting another frugal warming soup from the Penniless kitchen.
Now there’s frugal and then there’s frugal and split peas definitely belong in the latter category. They are ridiculously cheap and as a quick scan of My Supermarket reveals, you can pick up a 500g bag of these nutty little fellows for around only 50p in any of the major supermarkets.
Split peas come in both yellow and green and while I’ve never yet figured out if they actually taste any different, for some daft reason when I make split pea soup out of green split peas it’s all about dark green woody herbs, but with yellow split peas it’s got to be smokey spices. And yellow split peas it is today, because I happen to have a huge 3 kg bag of them in my pantry!
I like this soup served with crunchy croutons, which I make by roughly cubing the otherwise unwanted crusts of wholemeal bread and frying them in hot oil in a wok for several minutes. After blotting on kitchen towel I store these in an airtight jar for whenever they are wanted. Never throw away crusts! If you don’t have enough time to process them into breadcrumbs or turn them into croutons before they go mouldy, just pop them in the freezer to deal with another day. When wanted, quickly defrost by toasting straight from the freezer.
Yellow Split Pea and Paprika Soup
- 2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 or 4 carrots, diced
- 8 cups hot vegetable stock (I use Marigold Bouillon)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- juice of 1 lemon
- half a tsp ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Saute for a few minutes then add the garlic and saute for a couple more minutes.
- Add the paprika and cayenne and allow the spices to cook briefly before adding the carrots.
- Allow to cook for a few minutes more then add the hot stock, split peas, tomato puree and black pepper.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour – stirring occasionally – until the split peas are tender.
- Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and blend until smooth – I use a hand held immersion blender.
- If thicker than desired reduce the thickness of the soup with a little more hot water and season with salt to taste. Reheat if necessary.
- Serve with crispy croutons if liked.