First posted: Sep 23, 2013

Spicy Split Pea Soup with Bacon Croutons


After all my ‘spring is here’ smugness, my packing away of winter clothes into boxes that should dewll in the dark corners of the garage until next year, my generous servings of braai-worthy recipes and my special features for YOU Magazine about the many splendours of Summer that’s just around the corner, such as ‘A Taste of Spring‘ and ‘Time to Fire up the Braai‘ and even ‘3 Easy Spring Salads‘ (now do you see what I mean? I was really really fully swathed in sunny smugness) well right then, just as we least expected it, Joburg has of course gone on to deliver a big fat ‘na na na na na’ and sent single figure temperatures our way with gleeful abandon. I’ve had to stand in front of my brightly-coloured smiling summery cupboard and scratch my head wondering what to wear to ward off the chill. If you’re lucky smart enough to still be in your fluffy socks and cosy clothes this long weekend, then head on over to your kitchen and rustle up a pot of this oh-so-heartwarming Split Pea Soup. It’s totally unfussy and will bubble away merrily while you put your feet up.



Cooks in:        Serves:4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin and coriander
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 heaped tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1L chicken or vegetable stock
  • 500g yellow or green split peas
  • freshly ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
For the Bacon Croutons
  • Fry 150g chopped streaky bacon rashers until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and use to garnish your soup just before serving.

What to do

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the the onion and spices until the onions have softened but not coloured, about 5 minutes.

2. Add in the chicken stock and the split peas, stir and leave to simmer gently, covered, for 1.5 hours or until the split peas are cooked through. Add a little extra water to the soup if it becomes too thick during the cooking process.

3. Add salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice to taste. Remove from the heat and blend to your desired consistency, loosening with hot water if necessary. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh coriander leaves and fresh crusty bread.

Photo from 'Home' by Warren Heath.

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