Eat for Eight Bucks: Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe

Eat for Eight Bucks

Dinner recipes that will keep your stomach and wallet happy from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Eat for Eight Bucks: Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

1 pound yellow split peas: $1.00 1 onion: $0.50
3 carrots: $0.75 Cilantro (pro-rated): $0.75$ Lettuce: $2.00

Pantry items: Butter, garlic, curry powder or equivalent spices, turmeric, salt, yogurt, salad dressing.

Total cost (for 4 portions): 5.00

Since it was a soup-heavy winter here at Eat for Eight Bucks, I meant to stay away from soup for a while. Unfortunately, I just discovered one so easy and inexpensive that I feel I have no choice but to share it now, before we forget our stock pots and fire up our grills.

I thought my standard split pea soup recipe was as easy as it gets, but this one will bear chopping that is even more, um, rustic (and therefore more quickly accomplished, at least for me). If you're not up to cleaning your blender, just chop the carrot bite-sized and skip the pureeing. Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes suggests soaking the split peas in hot water before the long simmer, a step that noticeably promoted even cooking.

Indian spices, yogurt, and cilantro are impossible for me to resist in just about any form. I put lettuce on the shopping list to make this soup and salad, but any vegetable and perhaps some bread would make this a hearty soup a meal.

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup

  • Yield:4 generously


  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) yellow split peas
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, and a dash of cayenne)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Plain yogurt and chopped cilantro to garnish


  1. 1.

    Rinse the peas and put them in a large bowl. Pour over hot water to cover by 1 inch and let stand for 1 hour.

  2. 2.

    Heat the butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, and turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Drain the peas and add to saucepan along with 7 cups water, carrots, and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer until the peas are very tender and beginning to fall apart, about 1 hour.

  3. 3.

    Puree the soup until smooth. (I just fished out the carrot chunks and puréed them with about half of the soup, leaving the rest slightly chunky. If you want to avoid the blender altogether, you could dice the carrots before adding them to the pot instead of leaving them in chunks.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topping each bowl with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro.