I often throw things into my shopping basket on a whim, and I had a bag of split peas sitting in my pantry for ages so I thought I’d better do something with them. After some searching I came across a Lebanese soup that I liked the look of, and then tweaked it to suit our tastes. Surprisingly it came out really well straight off and I’m already planning to cook it again this weekend.
Note that this recipe is with two different types of potato and that the peas and potatoes definitely need to be cooked separately – you don’t want the white scum from the peas being absorbed by the potatoes. And yes! You need to cook the potatoes separately as they need cooking for different amounts of time and you will be re-using the water you boil the old potatoes in. So if you don’t have a dishwasher this might not be a good recipe for you!
Ingredients – serves 3-4
- 250g split peas
- 3 medium (200g) Maris piper potatoes (or any old style potato)
- 200g new potatoes well scrubbed
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 3 tblsp vegetable oil
- 1-2 tblsp z’atar spice (mixed herbs would work)
- Potato water topped up to 600ml
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- handfull chopped fresh coriander
- Place peas in a pan and cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, strain and rinse under a cold tap.
- Peel and chop the Maris piper potatoes, bring to boil in a large pan of well salted water and boil for approx 5 minutes. Drain reserving the water.
- Scrub the new potatoes well and cut into bit size pieces. Bring to the boil and boil for a brief 2 minutes. Drain and throw away this water.
- Place new potatoes in a bowl with 2 tblsp of oil and the spice mix and coat well. Transfer to a roasting tray and cook in a 190 oven for about 25 minutes until nice and crisp
- Give the pan you cooked the old potatoes in a quick rinse and cook the chopped in 1 tblsp oil for about 10 minutes, it should be nice and soft but be careful not to brown.
- Add the garlic and spices and cook for a minute or so stirring all the time.
- Add the peas and potatoes to the pan and top up with potato water (made up to 600ml) and bring to the boil. Add the chopped corriander and simmer until the peas are fully cooked, about another 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before blending.
- To serve place in large bowls and drop the roasted potatoes on top – the soup should be thick enough that the potatoes do not sink.
I cannot present that this is a simple recipe, but it creates a very simple yet tasty soup. With the addition of roasted potatoes as a garnish (instead of bread croutons) it becomes a very hearty and filling meal. It’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians.