Split Pea Soup

by Anne Bennett on January 26, 2018

Deb’s soup with her “green sauce”

Split peas are ZERO Points on Weight Watchers’ new Freestyle program, which means you can now enjoy a bowlful of rich, satisfying soup with impunity. Will wonders never cease?

Most split pea soups are made with a ham hock, but Deb Perelman, New York Times best-selling cookbook author and maven of smitten kitchen.com, recently posted this recipe.  It happens to be meatless, but Deb suggests adding ham, crisp bacon or a green sauce she makes with parsley, lemon, garlic and anchovies. (Green sauce isn’t my thing, but if it’s yours, click the link beneath the photo.)

I don’t eat bacon — lifelong Weight Watcher that I am — but for this soup I took Deb’s bait and bought some. Two slices of crisp bacon crumbled on my soup was amazing. My reckoning is 3 to 4 extra Points. So totally worth it.

Bottom line — without bacon, without ham, without Deb’s green sauce, this is utterly delicious soup. It’s what my mom would have made for me when I needed a soul-warming culinary hug.

Deb gives directions for both the Instant Pot, which is what I used, and the stovetop. So you have no excuse. You can do this. You can lose weight. You can be who you were always meant to be.

1 tbsp. olive oil
3 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
Salt and freshly black pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly
1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed and picked over
2 quarts (8 cups)low-sodium chicken broth.
2 to 3 sprigs of thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
1 bay leaf

For the Instant Pot: Select Sauté function and add the olive oil. Add the leeks, carrot and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook two minutes more. Add the dried peas, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Cook the soup under high pressure for 15 minutes, then let the steam naturally release for at least 5 minutes before releasing the pressure manually. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Stovetop: In a large heavy soup pot, follow directions above for sautéing the vegetables in olive oil. After adding the rest of the ingredients, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until peas have softened, 50 to 60 minutes.

Add-ins: You can add ham or crisp crumbled bacon (yum!) to your soup. Each cup of ham is 4 WW Points. Each slice of bacon is 2 WW Points.

Serves 6 to 8
WW Freestyle Points per serving: 2

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gayle Hendricks January 26, 2018 at 9:13 am

Anne, thanks for the recipe! Am making this this weekend. Yum!

Rita Lehman January 26, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Anne, I always look forward to getting new recipes from you. Am definitely making split pea soup this weekend.

We loved the chicken with sweet potatoes & red onion. Broccoli was great addition.

Thank you!!

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