the taste space

Split Pea Soup with Lemon and Spinach

Posted in Soups by Janet M on October 7, 2011

Let me tell you what not to bring to a potluck.

This soup.

Unless you are armed with extra lemons.

I waiver between trying new and old recipes for unsuspecting guests at potlucks. This time, I tried a new recipe.

Combining my new split pea infatuation with a recipe from Oh She Glows, who adapted it from 101 Cookbooks with spinach, lemon, split peas. How could it go wrong?

Well, it could. And it went wrong twice.

The soup, as written, was bland. To zip it up, I added more fresh lemon juice and lots of fresh pepper. Now I was content, this soup was nice!  Since soups always taste better after mellowing a few hours, I figured this was going to be a winner.

Got to my potluck, opened my soup, warmed it up…. and did the taste test.

Oh no! It went back to its bland self and I had a sorry soup to serve.

Most of my meals taste great (even if Rob doesn’t agree), but here I was, speechless, with a so-so soup. And no lemon to perk it up again.

I don’t really mind when recipes are lackluster, but when I serve it to guests, that’s when I cringe. But I swear, it tastes great fresh and a little more fresh lemon juice was probably what the leftovers needed. Moral of the story: Don’t leave home without your lemon. ;)


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to Ricki’s Wellness Weekends and to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Suma.

Split Pea Soup with Lemon and Spinach

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups uncooked split peas (~450 grams dry), picked over and rinsed
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup baby spinach, rinsed
juice and zest from 1 large lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just for a few minutes. Reduce heat if necessary so you don’t burn the onions.

2. Add the uncooked split peas and broth. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but do not overcook). The peas should still be slightly crunchy.

3. Ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a blender, puree the other half of the soup. Add a large handful of spinach and blend until smooth. The soup will be a gorgeous green colour.

4. Stir the reserved (chunky) soup back into the pureed mixture – you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more stock do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

5. Scoop into bowls or cups, and serve each with a swirl of olive oil, a pinch of smoked paprika, and lemon zest.

Serves 4-6.

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21 Responses

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  1. JL goes Vegan said, on October 7, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    I love split pea soup and this is a fabulous variation! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. coldandsleepy said, on October 7, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Awww, how sad about the blandness. I’ve had that happen with a couple of potluck dishes– they tasted so fantastic at home and then by the time they’d sat and arrived at the party, they just weren’t particularly zingy anymore. Always disappointing.

    Your soup looks beautiful at least!

  3. Priya Yallapantula said, on October 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Looks so delicious and healthy.

  4. Susan said, on October 7, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    The soup looks crazy-beautiful in that particular green. Too bad it was bland. You wouldn’t know to look at it. I wonder if a bit more salt would have perked it up.

  5. Ricki said, on October 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    That’s a shame–split pea is such a yummy soup in general! Well, it looks great. . . ! :) Thanks for submitting to Wellness Weekend this week! :)

  6. Mandee said, on October 7, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Well the soup does look gorgeous and I’d love to try a split pea soup with lemon, I think it would be great

  7. Joanne said, on October 7, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Oy so sad! I’ll make sure to carry fresh lemons around with me to potlucks from now on. I feel like they’re a good thing to keep on hand in general!

  8. julia said, on October 8, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Oh no! That citrus zing is so elusive when heat is involved! I wonder if some other kind of souring agent like tamarind paste or mango powder would better stand the test of time? Or maybe a combo of one of them with lemon?

    Potlucks/dinnerparties are funny. I try so many new recipes on my own, but when I know I’m cooking for others, I tend to retreat to the old standards I know will be foolproof. And then I get nervous it might be bland and make it too spicy anyway…

    • Saveur said, on October 9, 2011 at 8:38 AM

      Those are great ideas, Julia. I should try that next time… because you know I love tamarind. :)

  9. Deb in Hawaii said, on October 9, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    It really looks delicious–too bad about the lemon. I’ll have to remember to take some to all potlucks. ;-) Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  10. eva @5fruitsNveggies said, on October 12, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    i was going through all my soup recipes from my favorite blogs–need to make one today because of crazy afternoon schedule with ice skating practice–so wednesdays are crockpot days for me….this one interests me! i am not scared of bland soup–in fact, you gave me the idea to get some parmesan toasts to go along with this (for the kids because i am vegan)…my kids are not vegan, although they are mostely—am i making any sense or rambling–lol….

    will get back to you about how it turns out…will try to put some smoked paprika on it like 101 cookbooks….love how all blogs really work off each other–in an amazing way for me, a reader!

    • Saveur said, on October 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      Smoked paprika sounds like a great addition! Definitely let me know how it turns out. Both soups had very positive reviews from others who tried it if you check out the comments… :)

      • eva @5fruitsNveggies said, on October 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        so i made the soup! for me it was a winner…i wanted something more to chew on and contrast texture wise, so i added in some frozen white corn–while it was frozen into my bowl to cool my soup–i know, weird, but split pea is one of those soups that hold heat for way too long because it’s so dense….so i had the contrast of the smooth split pea puree, plus some harder split peas, plus the corn…i chopped my spinach in for a visual effect (uh, out of necessity because i had 2 young girls hungry after their ice skating lessons and did not have time to add the spinach and puree again)–but i liked the chopped fresh spinach because spinach is one of those veggies that can change when cooked too long….so i placed chopped spinach in the bowl’s bottom, then poured hot split pea on top, and then added in the frozen corn—gave me a perfect temp, ready to eat soup!….i added smoked paprika–kinda on the fence on that addition…it’s a new ingredient to me, so maybe it;s just an adaptation for me over time (i’ve learned to drink cabbage, broccili, cauliflower juice over time, so smoked paprika should not be too much of a challenge–lol)

      • Saveur said, on October 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        Eva, So happy that you enjoyed it! The corn sounds like a great idea! I agree that sometimes it is all about the textures as well, and it looks like you hit a lot of different elements. Yum! :)

  11. Suma Gandlur said, on October 12, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    The soup looks creamy and vibrant!. Thanks for sending this over to MLLA.

  12. Cara said, on October 14, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Split pea soup is so underrated. I love how lemon can totally brighten it up.

  13. [...] creaminess and protein came from a whipped white bean puree packed with loads of basil. Like the last bland dish from Angela, I ended up adding even more nutritional yeast and miso to up its appeal. Creamy, salty [...]

  14. Ashley said, on October 26, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    That’s too bad this soup was a disappointment! I find that dishes with lemon or lime juice always need a little extra juice added when reheating. Somehow it all gets sucked up into the dish and gets lost!

  15. [...] had too much luck with her recipes.  I find her overnight oats a bit too liquidy for me, her split pea and spinach soup and white bean pesto dip severely underflavoured and more recently, her tahini-avocado chickpea [...]

  16. Amy said, on November 12, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    A tasty & healthy soup,want to try..

  17. […] a dozen new-and-improved reader favourites. Angela has grown as a recipe developer, as I have had some failures with her earlier recipes. Thankfully some of my favourite recipes from her blog made it to […]


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