Friday, May 3, 2013

Vegetable soup with split peas and caraway seeds

This soup is, on the one hand, just another vegetable soup. You'll have seen, made, and eaten similar dishes before.

On the other hand, it wondrous and joyful and worth taking the time to get to know. 

You see, this vegetable soup has caraway seeds. That is tick one.

It also packs a hefty serve of vegetables and a modest serve of protein in every serve. That is tick two.

It is the start of my renewed love affair with winter food, soups and porridge (hot oats) in particular. Neither of these things appeal to me at all in summer, but about this time of year...they creep back. They are wonderful. That is tick three.

And last, but best: If you make this on Sunday, and you have a week that starts busy and accelerates from there, it will see you through. It will allow you to feel that you are looking after yourself even if, frankly, you'd be eating cereal and chocolate all week if left to your own devices at lunchtime.

That is ticks four and five.

In all? I recommend this soup. I recommend it a lot. I am recommending it even after eating it on four of the last five days. If there was some left, I'd have had it again today.

If you're in the southern hemisphere with me, I hope it might help you renew your love affair with soup too. If you're headed towards summer, you're still welcome to join me - just squeeze it in while your weather is still adjusting to warmth!

Vegetable soup with split peas and caraway seeds
The ultimate definition of nutritious and delicious!
Serves 4.

Drizzle of oil
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 large leek, green ends removed, sliced
4 - 6 cups vegetable stock (see note)
2 carrots, diced
2 parsnips, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1/4 cabbage, roughly chopped
1/3 cup split peas, soaked for at 4-6 hours
Small bunch fresh chives, chopped (about 1 tbsp chopped)
Small bunch fresh oregano (about 1 tbsp chopped)

Note. I used 4 cups of stock made from a stock cube, but would have used 6 cups if my saucepan would fit the extra liquid in. I added water to each serve when dishing up instead; otherwise you have more of a stew. You could also use water instead of vegetable stock as there is sufficient flavour in the other ingredients. If you do so, add some salt and up the herbs to taste. 

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large saucepan, and then add the caraway seeds and leek, sauteing over high heat until the leek starts to soften. Add approximately 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock and reduce heat to medium, allowing the leek to soften fully before adding other ingredients (a few minutes).

When ready, add the remaining stock and remaining ingredients (vegetable, split peas, herbs). Stir, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for at least one hour, stirring regularly.

Turn off the heat and leave to stand, covered, for another hour or longer before serving (optional, but recommended for full flavour).

If I could manage this every Sunday, weekday lunches would be a dream. One day I will have a large pot and a large freezer and make soup in one month batches...but until then, I am aiming for a weekly effort to see me through winter.

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #41.

What helps you out mid-week? 
And do you have a favourite soup flavour? I pretty much like anything vegetable, preferably chunky, but not so much tomato...


  1. I too wish for the huge pot and huge freezer - then I could give in to a desire to buy more vegies even when the fridge is stuffed full. At least in winter you can rescue wilted veg with soup. I have lots of celery and pumpkin in my fridge and am thinking of making it into soup - your soup sounds quite eastern european with the carraway - I must go and buy some split peas!

    1. Yes, I need a bigger fridge along with the freezer - sometimes vegetables are jammed in all sorts of ways!

      This soup did have an Eastern European feel, both due to the caraway and the cabbage. They're both things I use quite rarely so it was a nice change. I hope your soup turns out well and helps you through your next week too!

  2. That soup looks yummy! I like soup and I think that it tastes even better as a leftover. When I do make soup I usually make a huge pot in my slow cooker so that I can freeze some of it for later.

    1. I imagine slow cookers would be wonderful for soup making - one day I'll have one and will find out!

  3. Oh, hello, I have all of those ingredients in the house! I think I know what I'm making for lunch tomorrow...

    1. Oh, super! I hope you enjoyed it if you did make it :)

  4. I love this. Caraway is magical.

  5. So with you on the soups- I'm making a pumpkin soup tomorrow :) yum yum yum.
    My tiny freezer is always full, one day I'll have a big freezer and fill it with emergency meals and fresh ingredients.
    Thanks for sharing the soup love x

    1. It sounds like a few of us are hankering for those big freezers :) One day...

  6. Ummm...yes please! I can't seem to get my body on the right track since going home and all the craziness that has I was just thinking that I need to make a soup to get me back to normal. You're a life-saver. I'm going to make this today and eat it throughout the week. It will also be perfect while I'm studying for the Bar.

    .....and the caraway seeds are a pretty genius addition. :)

    1. I hope it does help with your next week Colynn. I know how you feel with things sometimes going completely off the rails, and soup is a good way to get lunch times sorted again even if the rest of the day is still messy :)

  7. My mid-week life saver is the slow cooker! :-)
    It is definitely getting to soup-like weather - will give this a try.

  8. I'm sold - it sounds wonderful.

  9. I love the sound of this soup, split peas are one of my favourite pulses and I adore caraway seeds. My soups are usually blended rather than left chunky, that way I can sneak some ingredients in that the others aren't keen on.

    1. I think I'm just selfish and make my soups purely for me ;)


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