Earthy yellow split pea soup with bright lemon and plenty of greens is a hearty, one-bowl meal that you will want to make again and again.
This yellow split pea soup recipe is from Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten's new cookbook, "Eat Like You Give a Damn". The book gives you stovetop directions, and I've added Instant Pot directions, for anyone who wants them!
This soup is easy to make. It's also:
I just know that it's going to become one of your new go-to recipes.
About Eat Like You Give a Damn
I got my hands on Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten's new cookbook.
Y'all, I've been ogling this book for months, so when the publisher offered me a review copy, I jumped for joy! Eat Like You Give a Damn is beautiful, and I love the intro chapters as much as I love the delicious recipes in its pages.
Schwegmann and Hooten are ethical vegans and the owners of Herbivore Clothing Company. They're vegan for the animals, not necessarily for health reasons. As someone who went vegan for health and stuck with it for ethical reasons, this book really spoke to me.
The introduction recounts one animal activist's journey to veganism, including a heartbreaking undercover investigation of a factory pig farm that changed her life. I'm not going to share the details here, because that's not what I do. But if your answer to "Bacon had a mom," is "Bacon is delicious," I hope that you'll seek out this story.
The intro also includes a foreword from one of my food heroes: registered dietician Ginny Messina, aka The Vegan R.D. Ginny gives a great intro to vegan nutrition, including:
- an overview of what you should have on your plate
- which supplements to consider (B12, y'all!)
- how to treat yourself so you don't feel deprived.
From there they walk you through Schwegmann's own reasons for going vegan and why we all should give a damn about animals and the planet. There's also a handy Vegan Debater's FAQ, for the inevitable questions you'll get and a guide to stocking your vegan pantry.
My favorite part, though, is the section "It's Okay for Vegans to Love Meat and Cheese". We are people, and chances are we grew up eating these foods. You can like a thing and not eat it. You can also find some really awesome alternatives to animal meat and cheese that are satisfying without the side of cruelty. Seriously, I could not have loved that section more.
The intro material is informative and sometimes a little bit heavy, but most of the book is packed with delicious vegan recipes. If you're considering going vegan, I can't recommend it enough!
What are yellow split peas?
Split peas really are what they say they are: dried peas that are split in half. The splitting makes them cook more quickly than the whole legume.
Yellow split peas are just yellow peas that are dried and split. As far as cooking time, you can use them pretty much interchangeably with green split peas. In fact, if you can't find yellow split peas for this recipe, you can use green instead.
Yellow split peas are a bit less sweet than their green cousins, but otherwise, they are very similar to green split peas.
About the broccoli stalks
This recipe calls for broccoli stalks, which is the ingredient that drew me to this recipe. Did you know that you can totally eat those big ol' stalks? They're good for more than just broth! I cook with them often and was so happy to see another recipe that uses them!
To prepare broccoli stalks for cooking, chop off the woody end, then use your knife to peel away the tough outer skin.
Then, chop them just like you would any other veggie. I have been using the stems in stir fries and soups, and I'm glad to add another broccoli stem recipe to my arsenal!
Making the soup on the stovetop
Whether you make this in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, though, it's incredibly easy.
Start by sauteing onion, garlic, carrots, broccoli stalks, and bell pepper. Then, add the herbs, just to get them toasty and fragrant.
Then, add the yellow split peas, water, and broth, and simmer until the soup thickens and the peas start to fall apart in the pot.
Just before serving, add plenty of Swiss chard, which wilts down into the soup in just a few minutes. Right before you dish this up, stir in fresh parsley and lemon juice.
Making the soup in your Instant Pot
In Eat Like You Give a Damn, this recipe is strictly stovetop, but I decided to convert it to work in my pressure cooker. Because y'all, I love my Instant Pot!
This soup is even easier in the Instant Pot. You add onions, garlic, dried herbs, yellow split peas, water, and broth to the pot. Cook at high pressure for 18 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
After you release the pressure, stir in the Swiss chard, until it wilts down into the soup. Just before serving, stir in fresh parsley and lemon juice.
Yellow split pea soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - (optional, if you are pressure cooking)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped, peeled broccoli stalk - OR celery
- 1 yellow, red, or orange bell pepper - diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups yellow split peas - soaked in 2 cups of water for 1 hour and drained (No soaking needed, if you use the pressure cooker method.)
- 4 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Stovetop Directions: Put the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion just starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, broccoli stalk, and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Cook, stirring frequently, got 1 minute. Add the broth, water, and split peas. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas begin to break down and thicken the soup, 45 to 60 minutes. Add the chard, stir, and cook until the chard is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pressure Cooker Directions: Combine all of the ingredients except the Swiss chard, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in your pressure cooker. Cook for 18 minutes, then do a 15-minute natural release. Stir in the Swiss chard, and put the lid onto the pot again, but don't turn it on. Wait 5 minutes, and see if the chard is wilted. If it is, you're ready to serve. If not, cover for a few more minutes, and check again. Finish with the lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper just before serving.
- If you can't find yellow split peas, you can use green instead. The flavor is similar, and the cooking time is the same.
- Having trouble finding fresh vegetables right now? You can use frozen instead. Just add the frozen vegetables at the end, stirring occasionally until they cook through. In the Instant Pot, you will likely need to use the Saute button to cook the frozen vegetables after adding them to the finished soup.