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From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of January 14, 2013
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Super Split Pea Soup

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Help warm up the start of the New Year with a delicious soup featuring split peas, carrots and potatoes. It is easy to make, satisfying and contains flavorful garlic, onion and herbs.

Split peas have been enjoyed for thousands of years. In fact, a version of split pea soup may have been sold by street vendors in Greece and Rome as early as 500 BCE. This type of pea was commonly grown throughout Europe and came to the United States with the colonization of the Americas. Today split peas are an important part of many European dishes and in Pakistani and Indian cuisines. When purchasing split peas, make sure you don’t mistake them for either yellow peas or split chickpeas.

During processing, the peas are dried, peeled and split. Some chefs prefer to soak the peas first to reduce some of the cooking time. They may also blend or purée cooked peas for smooth soups. You can certainly experiment, customize and adapt the method you like best. For our soup, though, we use a straightforward approach that is easy and produces a wonderful consistency.

Super Split Pea Soup

Super Split Pea Soup

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable stock or water may be substituted)
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed small
  • 1 lb. dried split peas, rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic, adding rosemary and oregano until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add broth, carrots, potatoes and split peas. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 90 minutes or until peas are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Stir frequently to keep solids from burning on the bottom of pot.

You can adjust the thickness by adding a bit of broth, stock or water. Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving (1¼ cup): 344 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 56 g carbohydrate
21 g protein, 17 g dietary fiber, 106 mg sodium.


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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