The first time I had this soup was when my good friend Lynne cooked me up a big bowl one lunchtime. I still remember being won over by the layers of flavour and heat, especially when she told me there no chilli in it, just plenty of black pepper.
Whilst I adore black pepper, and we get through a bunch of it in our kitchen, I’d only ever used it as a seasoning before and never gone all out to discover its fiery nature when used in bulk.
Lynne’s recipe called for lentils rather than split peas. There’s no real difference between the two, but the split peas take a little longer to cook. If you’re using lentils reduce the cooking time to 30-35 minutes. Oh, and neither lentils or split peas need soaking before cooking like other legumes.
Split Pea and Black Pepper Soup
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 potato finely diced
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 250 g yellow split peas
- 3/4 litre vegetable stock or water and a stock cube
- Pinch of salt to season
Fry the onion slowly in the oil for 5 or 6 minutes on a medium heat until softened. Add the potato, carrot and black pepper and fry for a couple minutes.
Next add the split peas, garlic and stock and let simmer for 45 minutes (around 30 minutes if using lentils). Do keep an eye on it as you may find you need to top it up with more hot water as the peas break down and thicken the soup. Season with a little salt at the end of the cooking time.