Hi! Today, I'm here with a super tasty recipe for hearty yellow pea soup with pancetta!
This soup (hrachová polévka) is traditionally served as a part of Christmas dinner in the Czech Republic, but there is no reason why not to enjoy its health benefits throughout winter!
This yellow pea soup is full of big flavours and also valuable nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibre!
I cook it often, especially in winter, as it is one of my boyfriend's most favourite soups, alongside lentil soup and broccoli and pea soup.
What do you need to make this yellow pea soup?
The main ingredient in this soup is yellow split pea, which is an amazingly versatile source of protein, fibre and healthy carbs.
Yellow split pea is a wonderful pantry ingredient. It is usually sold dried, so it can stay in your cupboard for a while.
A good and rich stock will add lots of taste to this soup. Chicken stock or vegetable stock work here best.
In general, any stock of your liking can be used here, but darker types can sometimes change the color of the soup too, so be mindful of that.
Carrots are a great addition here too. They bring sweet flavour and bright orange color, but also many vitamins and minerals.
Cooked meat such as pancetta, or diced bacon (eventually smoked sausage) gives their umami taste to this soup. If you're vegan or vegetarian, skip the meat completely and fry the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of sunflower or vegetable oil instead.
Towards the end of the cooking process, I add half a cup of frozen green (garden) peas to this soup - it adds to the soup's lovely vibrant tone and even more interesting texture. The green pea will keep its color if added for the last two minutes of cooking.
Herbs such as marjoram and parsley highlight the flavours of this soup. Use fresh or dried ones, according to what is available.
This yellow pea soup tastes delicious with crunchy bread croutons or toasted slices of bread.
How to cook yellow split peas?
Yellow split peas can sometimes be hard to cook right away. Therefore, it's good to soak it in water the night before cooking. This way, you're guaranteed that it will cook much faster!
When cooked, yellow pea starts to break up and can be easily mashed or blended.
In this recipe, I leave it as it is because I prefer the crunchy texture of the soup. However, if you like it creamier, feel free to go over it with a stick blender or mix the soup in a blender before adding more vegetables (you might have to do this in batches).
How to store yellow pea soup with pancetta?
After the soup is cooked (and served), leave it to cool down completely. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This soup may also be kept frozen. Keep it in an airtight food container in your freezer for up to two moths.
Cook directly from frozen: transfer the frozen soup from the food container into a stock pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and reheat it slowly, stirring occasionally until everything the soup is melted and piping hot.
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📖 The Recipe
Tasty and hearty yellow pea soup with pancetta (Czech style)
- 1 ½ cup dry yellow split peas
- 2.5 l chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 carrots
- 200 g pancetta or diced bacon
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- ½ cup frozen garden peas
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or handful fresh parsley, chopped
- black pepper, salt to taste
- Soak the dry yellow pea in a bowl with 1,5l cold water for at least 12 hours prior to cooking (overnight).
- Drain, rinse and cook the yellow pea in stock in a large stockpot on medium-high heat until soft. This should take about 30 mins.
- Peel and dice the carrots, add them to the soup and cook for 10 mins.
- In the meantime, peel and chop the onion and cloves of garlic.
- Add the pancetta (diced bacon) to a frying pan, set on medium-high heat. Fry until browned from all sides. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft and glossy.
- Add plain flour into the frying pan and toss until everything is covered in the flour. Fry for a minute and take off the heat.
- Add the mixture from the frying pan to the soup, bring to boil. The soup should become thicker. Cook for 5 mins. Stir the soup occasionally from the bottom of the stockpot, making sure nothing sticks on there.
- Add frozen garden pea to the soup. Season with herbs. Cook for 2 mins. Taste, add a pinch of black pepper and salt if needed.
- Serve hot with bread croutons or toasted bread/baguette.
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