Superfood Spotlight: Split Peas
Dried split peas, like other legumes, are rich in soluble fiber. This forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that binds cholesterol-containing bile and carries it out of the body.
Split peas also contain an isoflavone called daidzein, which acts like weak estrogen in the body. The consumption of daidzein has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer. Split peas are particularly rich in potassium, a mineral that can help lower blood pressure and control fluid retention, and may help limit the growth of potentially damaging plaques in the blood vessels.
Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup
Yellow pea soup is traditionally served every Thursday night in Sweden. If you’ve ever wondered why bags of yellow split peas are sold at IKEA, that’s why!
Makes 6 servings
Food processor or blender
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1-1/3 cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed
6 cups reduced-sodium ready-to-use vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley or dill, divided
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
2. Stir in peas and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes or until peas are very tender.
3. Transfer 1 cup of the soup solids to food processor. Add water and purée until smooth. Return purée to pan and stir in half the parsley or dill. Simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes to blend the flavors, thinning soup with water if too thick. Serve sprinkled with the remaining parsleyy or dill.
* An equal amount of dried yellow lentils or green split peas may be used in place of the yellow split peas.
* Store the cooled soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave using the Defrost function. Warm soup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.