Yellow split peas are a tasty, nutritious and filling addition to soups, curries and stews, and make an ideal food for anyone watching their weight or working on their fitness.
They’re rich in protein and a complete source of the essential amino acids, yet exceptionally low in fat and calories, with 16.3g of protein, 230 calories and just 0.76g of fat in a full cup of cooked split peas. They’re also an impressive source of fibre, with a whopping 21g per cup. Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system, to help keep blood sugar levels stable and to boost feelings of satiety after a meal. As with other legumes, dried peas are a rich source of soluble fibre in particular, which forms a gel-like substance in the gut and can help to control cholesterol levels by binding with bile and carrying it out of the body.
They contain iron and B vitamins to support energy levels, folate, vitamin K, vitamin A for healthy skin and vision, zinc for a healthy immune system and magnesium to encourage calm and relaxed muscles and nervous system, and to keep your teeth and bones healthy and strong. They also offer potassium, an important mineral for healthy and normal blood pressure.
Yellow split peas also cook far more quickly than other types of beans and legumes and are incredibly inexpensive to buy in bulk (79 cent for 500g from Tesco) making them an ideal food for families and students.
When harvested, yellow split peas are round and dried with an outer skin, which is removed once they are dried. They’re then split manually or mechanically, to encourage speedier cooking as more of their surface area is exposed to the heat. Whole dried peas need to be soaked in cold water for at least eight hours before cooking, while split peas don’t need this extra prep work.
Soup is easy to make and I often make it in bulk at the beginning of the week to enjoy over a few days or to freeze for a quick meal when the fridge is sparse. If you enjoy making curries, stews or Indian-style dahl, it’s a good idea to add in a few tablespoons of yellow split peas to boost their protein and fibre content. Green split peas are also available but the yellow peas have a more delicate flavour and add great colour to dishes.
This Carrot, Coconut and Yellow Split Pea Soup makes a nutritious, warming and simple meal. I like to sprinkle a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds on top of it, as a little dietary fat helps the absorption of the beta-carotene in the carrots to support healthy skin and eyesight.
I would love to know if you get a chance to make this Carrot, Coconut and Yellow Split Pea Soup! Simply tag #RosannaDavisonNutrition on Instagram or Twitter or come on over to my Facebook to say hello 🙂
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 a red onion, chopped
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 500ml low-sodium vegetable stock
- 125ml low-fat coconut milk
- 4 tbsp yellow split peas
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp raw pumpkin seeds, to serve
- Heat up the coconut oil in a medium-large saucepan over a medium-high heat and sauté the garlic and onion for 4-5 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add the chopped carrots and stir, then pour in the vegetable stock and coconut milk.
- Add the yellow split peas, spices and seasoning, then bring the mixture to a boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Lower the heat, cover partly with a lid and allow the soup to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the carrots have softened.
- Transfer the soup to a blender or use a handheld soup blender to blend the ingredients into a smooth soup.
- Serve warm, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.
- Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.