Yellow split pea soup
Erbsensuppe is one of my preferred cold weather soups: this recipe is hearty and perfect for the winter. It can be made with split green peas, as is more traditional, but I prefer the sweeter yellow ones because they contrast so well with the sharp vinegar hit at the very end.
SERVES FOUR INGREDIENTS
500g yellow split peas (no need to soak overnight)
1 bay leaf (2 if using dried) 1½ litres boiling water
1 white onion, finely diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced (I use Maris Piper)
200g speck (smoked pork belly), diced finely, or smoked lardons 1 red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
3 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Start by making the quick onion pickles. Put the red onion slices into a bowl and pour over the red wine vinegar. Gently mix with a fork, then set aside to pickle while you make the soup.
Rinse the yellow split peas in a couple of washes of cold water. Place them in a saucepan with the bay leaf and cover with the boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then turn down and simmer, partly covered, for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir, then add the white onion, potato and the speck or lardons and simmer for a further 30 to 35 minutes, until the peas are soft and starting to break down. Check the water level while cooking – you may need to add a little more if the pan looks dry and the soup starts to stick.
Season with salt once the peas are cooked (it’s important not to add it before, because the salt will prevent the peas softening), and stir.
This soup should be thick in consistency – but if you prefer it a little thinner, add a bit more boiling water now. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, a scattering of onion pickles and some parsley on top. This soup can be frozen.
Recipe from Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings by Anja Dunk
(4th Estate, £26)