It’s October, and fall in Florida is already awakening childhood memories and holiday jitters. Sure, the weather has cooled to a mild high-70s, but it’s everything else, too. The marching band practice echoing down our block on weekday afternoons. The plump acorns squishing underfoot. It’s also new traditions, like my sister’s patch of sugar pumpkins in full bloom.
Fall also means soups. I’m here with a recipe for turmeric split pea soup, heavily adapted from Hetty McKinnon’s book Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day. It’s a great book. Sometimes I pick it up for recipe inspiration. Other times I just like to look at the pictures! I used her recipe for Turmeric Chickpea Soup with Charred Brussels Sprouts and adjusted it according to what I had on hand.
Honestly, I was a little skeptical when I first added the turmeric to the pot of sizzling onions. First of all, turmeric and I have not always seen eye-to-eye. That said, I’m used to adding a quarter teaspoon to a curry here or there, but a whopping one-and-a-half teaspoons? In an abundance of caution, I sautéed the onions and turmeric until they started to create “fond,” or browned bits on the bottom of the pan. The smell, by then, was slightly less raw and even quite enticing. 🙂
The soup turned out amazing. Although it contained now-sweet turmeric, earthy onions&garlic, and nutty coconut cream, the end result felt balanced. I especially loved the color! You might like to try yellow split peas for an even fuller visual effect (mine were green).
Because of the turmeric and coconut milk, there’s a slight sweetness to this dish. While the original dish called for Brussels sprouts, I added some seared cabbage/kale as well as charred apples. I also topped it with scallions from the garden, seared onion, and smoked paprika. But feel free to use whatever you like. It’s nice to have something crunchy on top of an otherwise puréed soup.
Hope you enjoy this take on split pea soup as much as I did!Print
An easy, vegan twist on a hearty, culinary classic.
For the Soup
- 1 ½ cups split peas
- olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
- 1 spring rosemary
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 ½ apples, cut into ⅛ in. slices (unpeeled is ok)
- handful onion slices
- big handful chopped cabbage or kale
- chopped scallions
- dash smoked paprika
For the Soup
- Dice the onions, perhaps reserving the ends for a topping later. Finely mince garlic.
- Pick over the split peas and rinse until the water turns clear.
- Place a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat.
- When the pot is heated, drizzle olive oil to coat most of the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, turmeric, and rosemary sprig. Cook, stirring for 6 minutes or until the turmeric creates “fond” on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the broth and the split peas and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn to simmer. Cook for another 45 minutes to an hour or until the split peas are just starting to get mushy. By that point, most of the broth will have evaporated.
- Remove the rosemary sprig and then, using a handheld blender (or an actual blender), process the soup until smooth.
- Stir in coconut milk and serve hot.
For the Toppings:
- Set a cast iron pan over high heat and add a splash of neutral oil.
- Add the apples and onion slices. Working fairly quickly, turn the vegetables when the underside is just slightly charred. Char the other side. The apples should be soft but not mushy, and the onion pieces should still have a slight bite to them.
- Top each bowl with the apple and onion slices along with any other toppings you prefer: scallions, a dash of smoked paprika, a sprig of rosemary, cabbage, or kale.
Keywords: soup, split pea, split pea soup, braised apples, fall dishes, dinner, vegan, vegetarian, turmeric