Split pea soup is a hearty winter weather meal designed to warm up your cockles and keep out the cold, even when the sleet and snow is battering at your windows. But how can you create a healthier version of split pea soup?
Traditional split pea soup ingredients include green split peas, ham hocks, water or broth and a selection of winter vegetables that you have on hand. These ingredients give the split pea soup a rich, smoky flavour, but you can still achieve a hearty split pea soup by adapting the ingredients that you add to the soup.
Use Water In place of Stock or Broth
Stocks and broths are high in sodium, even if you opt for a so-called “low” sodium variety. Instead of using stock or broth as the base of your split pea soup, use good old-fashioned water. Not only will you cut out a lot of the sodium in the split pea soup, but you will also be saving a lot of calories.
Choosing the Ham
Ham is such a common feature in split pea soup that some cooks cannot imagine omitting it from their recipe. Rather than add ham hocks, choose a lean cut of ham and halve the amount you would normally add to the split pea soup. A little goes a long way.
Omit the Ham
Although ham is one of the main ingredients of split pea soup, omitting the ham not only makes sense to vegetarians; it also helps to considerably reduce the fat content. If you omit the ham, you can add more split peas and double up on the vegetables.
Double up on Vegetables
When preparing soup, you can never have too many vegetables. Experiment with the vegetables. Choose from onion, carrots, leeks, parsnips, celery, courgette or any other vegetables you have in your fridge or pantry and add a generous double portion.
It is easy to create a healthier version of split pea soup. Use water in place of stock or broth, choose a lean cut of ham, or omit the ham altogether and double up on the vegetables, for a healthy, hearty meal.