Yellow Split Pea Soup: Hearty, Healthy and Laughably Cheap

This delicious Yellow Split Pea Soup recipe isn't just laughably cheap, it's hilariously cheap. And it's also ridiculously easy to make. It only requires about 10 minutes of prep time, and you can easily do other things during this soup's hour or so of simmer time.

There's nothing better than a hearty, healthy and easy-to-make soup that will provide you with leftovers for several days. Enjoy!
Yellow Split Pea Soup

2 onions, chopped coarsely
1-2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 potatoes, cubed and unpeeled
1 pound dried yellow split peas
8-9 cups water and 2 bouillon cubes, or 8-9 cups of vegetable or meat stock

1) In a large soup pot, saute onions in the oil for ~5 minutes on medium-high heat, until browning and sticking slightly. Add spices and cubed potatoes and saute for another minute or two.

2) Then, add 2 cups of the water (or stock) to the pot and then deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the water (or stock), the yellow split peas and bouillon cubes (if desired).

3) Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for an hour to an hour and a half. Taste-test the split peas for doneness after one hour (you'll want the split peas to be somewhere between crunchy and mushy) and retest every 5-10 minutes or so thereafter. Serve in bowls over rice or brown rice.

Serves at least 8.

Recipe Notes:
1) You'll notice one ingredient that is noticeably absent from this recipe: added salt. Sure, there's some salt in the bouillon cubes, but 2 cubes distributed over an entire pot of soup isn't much.

2) In fact, the spicing of this soup is surprisingly simple. Once you turn down the salt, you'll find yellow split peas have a surprisingly rich taste all by themselves. Feel free to modify the spices in this recipe as you see fit, but we were very happy with this soup after seasoning it with just a small amount of cayenne and black pepper.

3) This soup allows for plenty of improvisation and modification. A few examples: you can add other vegetables to the soup (carrots or red or green bell peppers would be obvious and colorful options). You can add meat: chunks of ham, bacon, chicken, turkey, or even sausage or kielbasa would go perfectly with this soup. And of course, as mentioned above, you can modify the spices to match your tastes.

4) Sadly, I have readers who still attempt to convince me that convenient and healthy food is much too expensive, so let's take just a moment to quantify the laughable cheapness of this recipe:

onions: $0.35
potatoes: $0.50
split peas: $1.49
spices/oil: $0.10
bouillon cubes: $0.20
Total: $2.64

That's right: enough healthy, easy-to-make soup to serve eight people--for less than three bucks!

Related Posts:
Food Absolutism
Mujadarrah: Vegetarian Comfort Food From the Middle East
The "It's Too Expensive to Eat Healthy Food" Debate
Easy Sopa de Lima
Six Cookbooks That Should Be the Foundation of Your Cookbook Collection
How to Enjoy Wine On A Budget

Finally, a couple of excessively artsy photos of this soup, with our new (and nakedly unfurnished) townhouse as a backdrop:

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Melissa said...

Love the soup, love the new house even more! Congrats!

Daniel said...

Thank you Melissa!! We now actually have some furniture set up in there, so it doesn't look quite so bare.

And this soup recipe is a winner, believe me. It's ridiculously easy.


Alex@amoderatelife said...

Hi! Stumbled upon your blog! As another foodie, I thought i would suggest you link up to two for tuesday recipe blog hop at your soup looks great! Alex@amoderatelife.

Sarah C said...

I recently made this one - and it's wonderful! We're using it as the basis for more soups. I had trouble finding a split pea soup recipe that didn't require a ham bone!