When I make split pea soup, I make lots of it, especially in the winter time. As a young girl growing up in the “Great White North,” eating my mom’s French Canadian pea soup helped me cope through those long, cold, wintery days. Warm, thick and smokey, it was the ideal comfort food!
The split pea soup in the recipe below tastes like the kind my mom used to make, but without the ham. It’s 100% vegan and made with natural ingredients. It’s based on Linda McCartney’s recipe, which I like very much. However, in this new version, I’ve added some ingredients and changed the procedure. The end result is a creamier soup, chock full of vegetables, lentils and peas. It’s a complete healthy meal, high in plant protein, minerals and vitamins. One generous bowl will fill you up and warm you up. It’s also easy to make; all ingredients go into one big pot.
I recommend that you make this soup with homemade vegetable stock. But, if you haven’t got any, a store bought kind or bouillon cubes diluted in water are the next best thing.
Today, my daughters are on a Toronto-Montreal-Geneva flight, making their way back home for Christmas. They will be tired, cold and jet-lagged. A bowl of this soup will hit the spot.
A bientôt les filles! See you soon girls!
French Canadian split pea soup
Serves 10 or more
Halve the ingredients for a smaller group
- 1½ cups dry yellow split peas (pois jaunes)
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 1 large cooking onion, diced
- 2 big carrots, diced
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 big sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 big leek (with dark and tender greens), chopped
- 2 ripe tomatoes with skins, diced
- 2-3 garlic buds, pressed
- 5 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
- 10 cups of water (or more later)
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) dry Italian herbs
- 1-2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon powdered curcuma
- Sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- A good handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Put all ingredients, except the balsamic vinegar and parsley, in a big soup pot. Mix well. Bring to the boil and simmer with lid on for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove 5 cups of the soup (careful not to pick up the bay leaves) and pour this into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Whizz or process until smooth. Pour this back into the soup pot. Stir in the vinegar and parsley. Serve. Store leftovers in a covered container in refrigerator or freezer. This soup thickens as the lentils and peas absorb more stock and water. Add more water according to taste.