creamy split pea, carrot + sumac soup recipe {vegan}

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creamy split pea, carrot + sumac soup

Yesterday was one of those days where a roaring fireplace wouldn’t have gone astray. The drizzle hung around most of the day, making me feel like I was back home in NZ. From the moment I woke I had soup on my mind. Growing up I’m pretty sure there was a constant supply of soup plopping away on the coal-range, filling the air with its homely smell throughout the cooler months. The boy is just like his dad and doesn’t care much for soup, but as Si’s away up north working the whole school holidays (I know, what?!) it was the perfect time to bust out the big pot and indulge mine and Ada’s cravings for soup.

yellow split peas
sumac

This soup couldn’t be any easier. A base of olive oil, onion and garlic are cooked down, split yellow peas and grated carrots are added before turning it down to a gentle simmer and leaving it to do its thing. An hour later you’re greeted with a huge potful of thick, stick-to-your-ribs hearty soup. The kind my Dad would have told us as kids will put hairs on your chest (um, no thanks Dad).

The sumac sprinkled over the top is the key to making a simple dish like this sing. I’m addicted to the stuff and find myself sprinkling it on virtually everything. But of course if you can’t get your hands on some, a good squeezing of fresh lemon juice (from a lemon like this maybe!?! Haha) right before serving will give the soup a lovely lift and a similar tang.

creamy split pea, carrot + sumac soup
creamy split pea, carrot + sumac soup

creamy split pea, carrot + sumac soup
This is a super simple soup where the sumac really is the star of the show. You can find it at specialty grocery stores and some supermarkets. But if you really have no luck finding it, a little fresh lemon juice added right before serving will give the soup a lovely lift and similar tang.
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and grated coarsely
2 cups (400g) yellow split peas
2 litres (8 cups) cold water
fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
sumac, to serve
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook gently for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and carrot and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring often until softened. Add split peas and cold water, bring up to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout and more often towards the end. In the last 10 minutes of cooking season well with sea salt and black pepper. I like this served thick, but thin down with additional water if you prefer it a tad thinner. Serve hot, sprinkled generously with sumac and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 12, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I love sumac, and this soup sounds like just what I need. I'm freezing right now.

  • Reply
    Faygie
    July 12, 2013 at 2:13 am

    This looks so delicious! I'm going to keep this in mind for when the weather cools off here in Los Angeles in a few months.

  • Reply
    thelittleloaf
    July 12, 2013 at 8:46 am

    This looks so simple and delicious. I went over to my parents' house the other day to water their plants while they are on hols and stole a little pot of sumac from my Mum's spice cupboard to try – ha! – must be fate that I found this recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      emma
      July 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Good score! Here's hoping your mum doesn't notice when she gets home 🙂

  • Reply
    Marjan
    July 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love your blog , split pea and sumac are two favorite elements in Persian cuisine , it brings a smile to my face whenever I see you've come up with something near Persian dishes , I'm definitely going to try this .

    • Reply
      emma
      July 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Thanks Marjan, I adore Persian flavours and am often influenced by cuisines where spice is used often 🙂

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    July 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I really like sumac and I don't use it often enough. This soup sounds perfect for these cold days. (I know, I'm in Queensland and that's not REALLY cold.) 🙂

    • Reply
      emma
      July 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Haha, it's all relative love. Friends and family (in NZ) would say Perth isn't cold in winter either, but once you've been here awhile and after the intense heat of summer, winter is bloody freezing! 🙂

  • Reply
    london bakes
    July 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Seeing this recipe really brings home to me the fact that Australia is on the other side of the world! Definitely saving this recipe to brighten a grey and miserable day here! xx

    • Reply
      emma
      July 13, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Haha yes, it's right about now that I start to envy all the beautiful ice creams and summer dishes being served up by bloggers in the Northern Hemisphere 😉

  • Reply
    Hannah
    July 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Yum, this looks utterly delicious. I am trying to eat more legumes again after years of restricting them on Paleo and this looks just the ticket.

    • Reply
      emma
      July 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Enjoy Hannah! xx

  • Reply
    Colette Joseph
    July 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Sumac is such an interesting addition.
    This dish smiles at traditional Persian cuisine, Emma.
    Lovely! Lovely!

    • Reply
      emma
      July 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Thanks Colette! 'This dish smiles at traditional Persian cuisine'-Love that! xx

  • Reply
    Eileen
    July 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    This soup sounds delicious! And I do have a fairly substantial amount of sumac lying around waiting for me to eat it as well… 🙂

  • Reply
    Domestic Executive
    July 13, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Three of my wintery ingredients in a perfect combination of soup. Yum. Lovely recipe Emma. Hard to imagine that you'd need a fire though where you live. We definitely need one here this weekend in lovely southerly blown Wellington.

    • Reply
      emma
      July 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Haha, yeah well winter in Perth has nothing on Welli no, but it does get freakishly cold here in winter, for Australia. Even my Dad froze when he visited from NZ last winter!

  • Reply
    carey
    July 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    There's something so enjoyably surreal about reading this post and imagining a roaring fire and soup-filled day as I sit here wilting in some especially uncomfortable summer humidity. There is an awesome soup joint just a couple blocks from my apartment, and it is a major weakness of mine in the fall and winter. It is their fault (ok, and maybe my fault too!) that I don't make soup at home more often. But when I do, it's one of my favorite things — stirring, tasting, and seasoning, and taking in all the extra stove-top heat I can get. And I love everything about this soup in particular. (I'll take yellow split peas over their green counterparts any day of the week.) I can't wait to make it in the colder months!

    • Reply
      emma
      July 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Ah the joys of reading blogs from across the seas! Now you know why I've been finding it so hard to read all about your beautiful ice cream 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Kathy
    July 15, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Simplicity at its best…& just so yummo! ….thx, Emma 🙂

  • Reply
    erin @ yummy supper
    July 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Emma, that is the kind of soup I could eat everyday – hearty, healthy and satisfying. Yum!
    xo
    Erin

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef ™
    July 16, 2013 at 12:26 am

    This is a heartwarming dish indeed, my dad had the same saying too!

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