I have always been a fan of split pea soup. In this recipe I added some color and depth of flavor with the sweet potatoes, carrots and red bell pepper. Lentils offer an array of nutrients and provide many health benefits. Since winter decided to come back to Denver in the middle of May I thought a great soup recipe should be on the table!
Baked rosemary, garlic and paprika pita chips go great as a crunchy topping for this soup. The recipe can be found here. The soup is easy to prepare but like many good soups it needs at least an hour to cook and develop flavors.
Homemade soups are easy to freeze for a later meal. I like to use gallon freezer bags so they do not take up much room in the freezer. When ready to use just simply take out the night before and place in the refrigerator to thaw.
Leeks are a member of the Allium family along with onions and shallots. Leeks offer a more delicate flavor than onions. Both the white and green part of the leek can be used in this recipe. Just make sure to clean them very well as they often have dirt and debris hiding in their layers. I like to cut mine in half lengthwise to better see which parts needs cleaned.
Lentils are light on the wallet and pack a big nutritional punch for what you are paying. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, in particular folate, iron, zinc and potassium. Pairing the lentils in this dish with vitamin C rich vegetables, such as the red bell pepper, will help to maximize absorption of iron in this dish.
With a big dose of veggies and lentils this soup offers an array of nutrition. A one cup serving provides: 10 grams of protein, 11 grams of dietary fiber, 5487 IU of Vitamin A, 2.6 mg of iron, and 124 mcg of folate.
So next time you are at the grocery store load up on some lentils and try out this soup recipe the next time you are in the mood for a hearty and delicious bowl of soup.
Vegetarian Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes: 12 (1 cup) Servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 70 min
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 min
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
16 oz/1lb Green Split Peas
1 Cup Carrots, Sliced (~2 medium)
1 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled and Diced (~2 Cups)
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Large Leek, Chopped (~3 Cups)
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tsp Rosemary, Finely Chopped
½ Tsp Pepper
1 ½ Tsp Salt
4 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Water
*Notes: Make sure to wash leek good as it tends to carry a lot of dirt. I like to slice mine in half and remove and wash the first few layers.
In a colander, rinse and drain the split peas to remove any debris.
In a large soup pot place the olive oil and heat over medium. Add the carrots, sweet potato, bell pepper and leek. Sauté for about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and the split peas. Stir to combine and cook an additional minute.
Add the water and broth and bring the soup to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about 1 hour or until the veggies and lentils are tender.
**Serve with toasted Rosemary, Garlic & Paprika Pita Chips. See Recipe.
Serving Size (1 cup):
Calories 198, Total Fat 2.8 g, Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g, Saturated Fat 0.4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g, Sodium 367 mg, Total Carbohydrate 34 g, Dietary Fiber 11.3 g, Protein 10.1 g, Potassium 498 mg, Phosphorous 150 mg, 44 mg Calcium, 5487 IU Vitamin A, 2.6 mg Iron, 124 mcg Folate.