It’s raining outside, the day is cold and grey and miserable. It is days like these that yellow split pea soup was invented for – one mouthful and you might just find yourself wishing that every day was cold and grey and miserable, just so you had an excuse to make this more often.
This is yet another deceptively simple soup, made great by a beautiful homemade stock, and transformed by the addition of a little mace.
RECIPE – serves 4 to 6 people
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a couple of blades of mace, ground to make 1/2 tsp powder
500g yellow split peas
approx. 1.5 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla) or Marmite
a small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
In a large pan, heat the oil and gently fry the onion, carrot, celery and the bay leaves for around 10 minutes until just softened, then add the garlic and mace. Mix well and cook gently for a minute or two, stirring frequently and taking care not to burn the garlic and mace.
Add the yellow split peas, give it a good stir then add the vegetable stock and the fish sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for an hour or so until the yellow split peas are soft and the soup has turned thick and sludgy. Keep an eye on the liquid, you may need to add a little more as it cooks. Season when the split peas are fully cooked.
Ideally, at this point leave your soup to sit for a few hours so that the flavours can develop, the longer you can leave it the better it will be. This really works, but if you eat it straight away it will still be delicious.
To serve, scatter with the coriander and eat it warm, rather than boiling hot.
To make it suitable for a vegan, simply omit the fish sauce; it can be replaced with 2 teaspoons of Marmite which has a similar umami nature.