When the weather turns cold, this thick soup is especially delightful. It’s vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, and a favorite lenten dish as well.
In Greek: σούπα με μπιζέλια, pronounced SOO-pah meh bee-ZEL-yah
Add a fish dish like taramosalata, some Greek olives, and lots of crusty bread, and you’ve got a traditional meatless Greek Wednesday, Friday, or Lenten meal (Wednesdays and Fridays are “fasting” days) that’s filling and delicious.
For non-“fasting,” serve with a side of sliced feta cheese sprinkled with oregano and drizzled with olive oil. Like other legume and bean dishes, this goes well with salty foods.
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
- 1 pound (450 gr) of split peas
- 2 large vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 7-8 cups of water
Note: Getting the thickness that’s to your preference will depend on how much water you use. 8 cups of water, after pureeing, creates the consistency of a cream soup. If you prefer a thicker soup, start with 7 cups of water. But remember that the soup will thicken as it sits.
Day 1: Pour the peas into a colander and rinse with cold water, checking for small stones. Put peas in a large bowl filled with cold water and soak overnight (12 hours).
Day 2: Drain peas and rinse. Transfer the peas to a large pot and add oil, bouillon cubes, vegetables, herbs, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil.
Note: Foam may rise to the top. This is normal and will disappear as the soup cooks.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 hours, stirring every so often so the peas don’t stick to the bottom. When the soup thickens and the peas are very soft, remove from heat. (If more water is needed, add boiling water.)
Allow soup to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard.
Puree with or without carrots:
- Without: Remove carrots with a slotted spoon, puree the soup, add carrots, and serve.
- With (photo): Puree carrots with the soup. It will change the color slightly, but still taste great.
Yield: serves 6-8
Note About Soaking Peas: Even when the package indicates that peas do not need to be soaked before cooking, don’t skip the soak for this recipe.