janet @ the taste space

Lemon-Ginger Split Pea Soup with Toasted Coriander

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on January 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Lemon-Ginger Split Pea Soup with Toasted Coriander

If you are a vegan, new or old or contemplating dabbling in vegan cuisine, I highly recommend reading this book: Vegan for Life.

Like right now.

I mentioned basic vegan nutrition in my earlier post, but this book is chock-full of advice navigating the murky scientific waters of vegan nutrition. Vitamin B12 supplementation should be old news but what about calcium, iron and zinc? Essential fatty acids?

Of course, then there’s the never-ending protein question. (Love this video, by the way)

Beyond, where do you get your protein but how much do you really need. I used to aim for the prototypical 0.4g of protein per pound of body weight, so around 50g for a 120lb woman. Brendan Brazier’s books were also instrumental in highlighting the importance of the ratio of protein to carbs, as well, when exercising.

While I stagger my meals and snacks to support my exercise, I have never really considered myself an athlete. I am not a bodybuilder but I do lift weights twice a week.  I have cycled really, really long distances (over 350km in 2 days kind of a lot). Although it seems like such a distant memory right now. Even though I tucked my bike away for the winter, just last month, I was cycling a minimum of 1.5 hours each day for commuting alone. It makes me tired just thinking about it. I have so much more energy now.

My co-worker would (lovingly) heckle me, telling me I wasn’t eating enough protein as a vegan, especially with all my cycling. I reassured him I was ok, 50g is enough. I eat my beans. Vegan for Life has me re-evaluating my base protein needs. Strength and endurance athletes (and pregnant people- not any kind of hint, by the way) seem to require more protein although how much is debatable. It could be up to 0.8g/lb for weight lifters. If you interested, this is a good read, too. I strive for 25% protein in my meals, so I think my new protein goal is be achievable. Especially since I love beans.

The benefit of beans and legumes were highlighted not only for their high protein content but also their amino acid profile, compared to other vegan protein sources (vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains). They are a good source of lysine, a particular amino acid that is not as easily found in other vegetarian foods.

So.. the moral of the story? Take charge of your nutrition. And eat more beans.

Even within the legume family, there is a lot of variety. Lentils and chickpeas are my go-to beans, but they all have their own merits. Pick up a new bean and get creative.

Have some split peas but don’t know what to do? Try this soup.  I really like split peas, but less eager to cook with them due to their long cooking time. Even with soaking (or not), I find they take a while to cook, sometimes longer than an hour and a half.

It is worth it, though.

I prefer yellow split peas, which have a milder pea flavour. The split peas thicken this soup spiced with ginger and coriander. Filling and hearty yet light at the same time from the lemon. The lemon zest really brought this up a notch. It also packs a protein punch: 20g when serving 3. Serve with a salad to get some greens.

Looking for other ways to eat split peas? Try these:

Smoky Split Pea Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sage
Finnish Double Pea Stew with Apples
Iraqi Eggplant and Seitan Stew
Split Pea Dal with Ginger and Lime
Ethiopian Split Pea Puree (Kik Alicha)
Ethiopian Split Pea and Squash Stew with Collard Greens
Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup with Dill at Power Hungry
Curried Squash and Split Pea Soup at Choosing Raw
Sunshine Curried Split Pea Soup at G Living
Yellow Split Peas with Garlic, Ginger and Cilantro at Kalyn’s Kitchen
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Paprika and Crisped Leeks at Not Eating Out in New York
Polish Split Peas and Cabbage at About.com

Lemon-Ginger Split Pea Soup with Toasted Coriander

This is my submission to this month’s Pantry Party for soups, to January’s Food of the Month Club for soups and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Lemon-Ginger Split Pea Soup with Toasted Coriander
Adapted from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now (original recipe here)

1 tsp whole coriander seed, crushed, or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium leek, cut longitudinally, washed and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1-inch-long gingerroot, peeled and grated (~1 tbsp)
1 cup yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
4 cups water/vegetable stock
2 rosemary branches, plus additional chopped leaves, for garnish
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from half a lemon)

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, toast coriander for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add oil. When hot, stir in carrots, leek, garlic and ginger. Reduce heat to medium and saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

2. Add water/stock, split peas, rosemary and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 60-90 minutes until peas are falling apart. Remove rosemary and bay leaves. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Season. Serve. May need to thin with additional water if it thickens as leftovers.

Serves 3-4.

  1. I’ve found that it is fairly easy to hit around 50g protein a day on a vegan diet. Increasing that when pregnant to 75g a day and while breastfeeding to 95g a day (the most standard recommendations I’ve been able to find) is much more difficult. I have had a hard time reaching those numbers without adding in concentrated hemp protein powder at least once a day. I would be interested to know if most vegan athletes/weight builders can hit the 75-100g threshold without using a protein powder. This split pea soup sounds great! I love the lemon and ginger twist.

    • I completely agree with you, Annie. 50g is easy (I already use protein powder with my morning oats) but now I am curious to see whether I can hit the high numbers consistently. It is more of a trial now, because I am not exercising nearly as much now that I taking the subway to work (HA!). I know Brendan Brazier touts his own protein powder but I honestly doubt one could do the higher numbers without using the powders… or consuming a heck of a lot more calories in general. 😉

  2. i will say it a thousand times..I just love your blog!

  3. This is great! I like your addition of Lemon Janet. I had forgotten that lemon gives great flavor and helps cut down on salt use. And fresh Ginger is great to clean your stomach, especially if you have a upset tummy. Of course if want something really amazing try cooking Red Lentils with a stick of Ceylon Cinnamon. It gives it a lovely savory taste that is just out of this world. A very popular dish in Sri Lanka where people can’t afford too much meat.

  4. Great blog Janet. I’ll certainly try this dish today and be purchasing my copy of “Vegan for Life” ASAP.

  5. Looks fabulous. I adore lentils/peas, soup, rosemary, and lemon. ALL THE GOOD.

  6. I had beans last night in my chili. It worked. 😉

    Thanks for the body building shout out! I eat 1/5x my body weight in protein a day… but, yeah… that’s not normal. 🙂

  7. Oh, wow, this looks and sounds fantastic! And, thanks for the book recommendation in your posts, I’ll be checking it out!

  8. This looks delish Janet! Adding to my “recipes to try” list! 🙂

  9. Oh the age-old protein debate. It’s nice to hear another non-meat eater’s input! I really really try to be sure that I get one protein-rich ingredient into each meal, whether it’s beans, tofu, eggs, cheese, quinoa, nuts. And I snack on nuts a lot, so I like to think I’m good to go! And lately I’ve really been trying to make sure that each meal has either beans or a leafy green so I can get some iron in. 🙂

    I need to make this soup! I’ve made two Melissa Clark soups to date, both of which were awesome, and it looks like this will be a third!

  10. Great recipe, as usual! 🙂 If I have no yellow split peas, which is the better replacement: red lentils or green split peas?

    • Thanks! It depends for the sub.. I actually don’t like green split peas but those would be the best sub. So if you like them, use that for sure.. but since I prefer red lentils to green split peas, that’s what I would use. 🙂

  11. Oh wow, I never would have though to put lemon nd ginger in split pea soup but it sounds just amazing. I mean I think I would love split pea anything, but lemon and ginger, being 2 of my favourites would just take them to the next level!

  12. […] I’ve stopped cycling my crazy commute, my energy levels have improved, my mood is better and my eating is under control. […]

  13. […] I know better. I aim to create meals that are properly nutritionally balanced, aiming for more than 50g/d. Knowing that my major sources of protein are from beans, […]

  14. I love all of the flavors in this–the lemon, ginger and the toasted coriander–such a good way to liven up pea soup. 😉 Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  15. […] One of the things I liked about Vegan For Life is that there are recommendations supported by science. Two servings of fruit are good and just 2 tsp of oil a day is a good idea. And that whacky TVP? It isn’t as scary as you may think. It may be a processed soy product, but it is basically defatted soy flour that is high in protein. A varied diet is more important. Everything in moderation is ok. […]

  16. […] from The Taste Space brought a bowl of Lemon-Ginger Split Pea Soup with Toasted Coriander. Janet not only shares this […]

  17. yellow split peas are one of the few beans I’ve never really cooked with. Although I’m not a vegan or even vegetarian, I think beans are a great form of protein and I try to eat them regularly.

  18. […] Why do I need that? That isn’t all natural. For me, it is one way to ensure I reach my daily protein needs and gives me a filling breakfast (oats alone do not do […]

  19. […] this time last year, I shared my recommendation for Vegan For Life, a book routed in the science of living a healthy vegan lifestyle. If you have read that book […]

  20. […] of higher protein intake. This is especially important for active people (see my first rant here). With Carrie’s recent post about Fatigue and the Ex Vegan Phenomenon and Sayward’s […]

  21. […] star anise, spiked with orange juice and a touch of fresh ginger gives you a bit of a bite. This split pea soup has also has ginger and coriander, but the orange and star anise were a refreshing twist. […]

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