Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful break over the festive holidays. I spent a magical five days with my mum and her three dogs in Verwood, Dorset. It was so relaxing, which was just what I needed after a busy year finishing the cookbook.

We went for daily walks in Verwood Forest, had a glorious day on Bournemouth beach, and spent our evenings watching films and munching our way through all the Christmas goodies. As you may have seen on my social media channels, I was totally spoilt by family and friends this Christmas and received lots of beautiful boxes of vegan chocolates. Needless to say, most are empty now.

And after all the excesses of the festive season, this month I’m looking forward to getting back to my favourite way of eating – simple meals filled with natural ingredients and packed full of flavour and nutrients.

To kickstart my recipe shares for January, I have one of my family’s favourite winter-warming dishes – Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup ❤️

Not only is this soup easy to make, but it’s incredibly cheap too. A 500g bag of Suma yellow split peas costs £1.15 and we only use half a bag in this recipe. Add in the remaining ingredients and this soup costs about £2.25, which works out at 56p per portion. Bargain!

You’ll find split peas on the dried pulses aisle of supermarkets and health food shops. They don’t have to be pre-soaked, but I prefer to do so for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it significantly reduces the cooking time, which is good for saving energy.  And secondly, I personally find that soaking split peas helps with digestion. I have quite a sensitive tummy when it comes to dried pulses but, after soaking them for a few hours in water with a teaspoon of bicarb of soda, I don’t experience any bloating or other digestive issues.

I usually soak the split peas for around 3 hours but they can be left overnight. Be sure to cover them with plenty of water because they soak it up and expand.

Split peas are perfect for winter soups as they make them hearty and filling. They also boost their nutrient content, adding protein, fibre and iron.

In today’s recipe, I also add sweet potato which is a great source of slow release energy. It’s also packed with antioxidants, including vitamin A (betacarotene) and vitamin C. If you don’t have sweet potato on hand, butternut squash makes a good substitute.

This soup is one of my family’s favourite easy weeknight meals. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


This soup is hearty, warming and packed full of flavour. It’s substantial enough to serve as an evening meal, especially if you add a slice or two of crusty bread. We often serve this dish with Quick Crispy Garlic Bread (p55 of the Bit of the Good Stuff Cookbook).

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes + 3 hours soaking time (can be left overnight) [See notes below]

250g / 1 cup yellow split peas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1.1 litres / 4½ cups boiling water
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 large sweet potato (430g), peeled and diced (or substitute with butternut squash)
1 TBSP smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder (e.g. Marigold)
3 bay leaves
120g / 1 cup frozen green peas
½ tsp salt, or to taste
Sprinkling of chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) for a spicy kick (optional)

Rinse the split peas in a sieve under running water, until the water runs clear. Place in a large bowl and cover with plenty of warm water (the peas will expand a lot as they soak). Stir in 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and leave to soak for at least 3 hours (can be left overnight). When ready to cook, drain and rinse one more time in a sieve under running water.

Place the soaked split peas, water and turmeric in a large pan and boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan (skillet) and cook the onion, garlic and celery on medium heat for 4 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato, smoked paprika and oregano, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.

Once the split peas have boiled for 10 minutes, add the contents of the frying pan to the split peas, along with the bouillon powder and bay leaves. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the split peas and potatoes have softened.

Leave the soup to cool slightly. Discard the bay leaves and transfer half of the soup to a jug blender and blend smooth. Return the soup to the pan, add the green peas and heat through. Season with salt, to taste.

Transfer the soup to bowls. Add a sprinkling of chilli flakes if desired, then serve.

Any leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It’s also freezable (excluding the green peas). The soup will thicken over time, so add extra stock or water as needed. Since it’s quite chunky and thick, for school and work lunches, we use wide-necked thermos flasks.

It is not essential to soak split peas before cooking them, but I find it really helps with digestion (minimising the risk of bloating) and significantly reduces the cooking time. Unsoaked split peas will need cooking for an extra 20 minutes or so.


I’m sharing this recipe with the Suma Blogger’s Network. Intrigued to see what the other Suma bloggers have been up to? Check out this Pinterest board.

7 thoughts on “Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup

  1. Ooh this looks so good and just what I’m craving after all the Christmas chocolate. Soups are a fantastic way to prepare a quick, nutritious and delicious meal. I always soak my pulses, even split red lentils and then cook them with either a bay leaf or a piece of kelp for easier digestion.

    Thanks for alerting me to the Suma Blogger’s Network pinterest board – I’ve been completely oblivious of it all this time – doh! Wishing you a very happy, healthy and fulfilling 2017. Personally, I’m looking forward to exploring your book 🙂

  2. I’ve just made this soup. Love the taste and texture. I was timid with the smoked paprika. I’ll use the full tablespoon next time.
    Thank you so much for posting the recipe.

    1. It’s a pleasure Peter! And thank you so much for stopping by the blog to leave me a comment. I really appreciate it!

      So pleased to hear you enjoyed the recipe 😊 Yes, definitely try a whole tablespoon of smoked paprika next time. It adds a lovely depth of flavour to the soup.

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