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Giving is always in season. Make someone's day
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Mamma's Estonian Split Pea Soup

A wonderfully filling split pea soup recipe with loads of flavour.

Another favourite from my childhood that I find myself making quite often is my mother's split pea soup. It' s wonderfully simple to make, and tastes great. Not to mention it's also the perfect soup to enjoy after spending a chilly day outdoors, or before venturing out into the cold weather. It fills you up and sticks to your insides like a hearty soup should.

This recipe does call for cooked or smoked ham to be used, but it can be made vegan by just omitting the meat. It's also quite low fat even with the ham, so vegans can feel free to add some chopped up cooked vegan bacon or sausage in its place.

If you buy a cooked or smoked ham with the bone, this is the perfect soup in which to use that bone. Clean off any excessive amounts of meat from the bone and set that aside for addition at the end of the recipe. The addition of the bone will really take the flavour of this soup up a huge notch and is worth the addition if possible, but it is optional. The soup will be perfectly yummy without.

Sometimes I enjoy this soup with the addition of a little yellow mustard. The mustard gives it a zip and tanginess when that's what you're craving. Along with a side of rye bread, this is easily one of my favourite meals for lunch or dinner.


TIP: Reduce cooking time by soaking the split peas for several hours or overnight. Drain and rinse before use.



(Makes 6 servings)

  • 1 teaspoon plant-based butter

  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced

  • 2 medium white or yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 large carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)

  • 1 cup dried split peas (yellow or green)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1 cup cooked or smoked ham, cubed (with bone if possible)

  • salt and ground back pepper, to taste



In a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter then sauté the onion until it begins to soften (approximately 3 to 4 minutes). Add the vegetables and stir to incorporate them into the onion. Let sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the stock, ham bone (if using), split peas, parsley, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to high until the soup comes to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and bring it to a gentle, rolling boil. Partially cover the pot with a lid and allow to boil, stirring periodically, until the split peas are soft (about 2 hours).

Remove the bay leaf and ham bone (if using), pulling off any additional meat still attached and discard. With a potato masher, mash the soup only enough to thicken the broth a little. The soup should still primarily have bitesize chunks of vegetables. Add cubed ham, stir, and let cook for 5 more minutes to heat the ham thoroughly. Test for seasoning and add salt and ground black pepper as needed.

Remove from heat. Serve with hearty artisan rye bread, or sweet and sour rye.


Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 218 | total fat = 2.04g | saturated fat = 0.43g | cholesterol = 14.33mg | sodium = 686.2mg | net carbohydrates = 27.52g | dietary fibre = 9.26g | sugars = 7.41g | protein = 14.7g

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