Sunday, March 17, 2013

Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup: Eatin' of the Green for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Wearing of the green on St. Patrick's Day shows spirit but, eating of the green is even better. With Souper Sundays falling on March 17th this year, I figured I should make a meat-free Irish-themed soup. An email from Vegetarian Times featured a recipe for a spring-green Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup and I decided to go for the green instead.   

Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup
Vegetarian Times, March 2012 (via website)
(Serves 8)

2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 
5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
1 cup dry white wine, divided
15 oz. dried green split peas
1 tsp. fennel seeds, divided
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5 oz. baby spinach leaves

(I added the juice of 1 lemon)

Heat saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. (I used 1 Tbsp of olive oil.) Add fennel and onion, and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine, and simmer 2 minutes. Add split peas, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until split peas are tender. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

Remove bay leaf, and purée soup with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toast remaining 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds in small skillet 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds.

Notes/Results: Split peas, fennel and spinach make a good team and taste great together. This eats like a pea soup--thick and hearty, the fennel just adds another layer of flavor. This is a healthy soup--full of nutrients and 13 grams of protein and 21 grams of healthy fiber per serving for about 227 calories in 1 1/4 cups. I did add fresh lemon juice after pureeing the soup to brighten up the flavor--something I do for most legume dishes. The toasted fennel seeds on top were a nice touch. A good light lunch or starter for dinner, I would make this again.

Two soups and a sandwich await in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look. 

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food shares this wholesome Tofu-Based Shirataki Noodle Soup and says, "I have seen it many times especially in the health grocery stores, but it never made its way into my grocery cart until today. Noodles! Huh? That's ordinary! Well, not your ordinary wheat, rice or egg noodles but these tofu-based shirataki-style noodles. The noodles are rather bland, so a flavorful broth or soup really helped to lift the taste of this dish."

Janet of The Taste Space brings a hearty Turkish Red Lentil Peasant Soup with Sizzling Mint and says, "...the best part of this soup, is the finishing spiced oil. I am used to this in Indian dishes, which is called a tarka,when spices like cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger can infuse oil that is added at the end of the cooking. This isn’t an Indian dish, so dried mint and smoked sweet paprika are fried at the end to permeate the oil. It was actually very pretty when drizzled over the soup. Sorry, you guys got photos of leftovers! Have no fear, the leftovers tasted as good with the tarka already stirred into the soup."

Finally Alicia of Foodycat has a mouth-watering sandwich, these Lamb Kofta Wraps. She says, "This isn't so much a recipe as the assembling of three different recipes - the pita, the kofta and the salad. But they do work very well together. Soft, fluffy but flexible fresh pita, spicy little lamb kofta and a roast cauliflower and feta salad were just made to be together. ... An excellent sandwich..."

Thanks to Tigerfish, Janet and Alicia for joining in this week! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day and have a healthy, happy week!  


  1. A smaller turn out this week but I am loving all the green veggie-based foods for this St Patty's' Day. :)

  2. Ana (Sweet Almond Tree)March 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Hi Deb! Green, how appropriate for St. Patrick's Day, but best of all I am loving how healthy your soup is. Sorry I couldn't join this week, but I am working on this thing called "Cook the Books," and then having surgery on Wednesday. I'll be eating lots of soup while I recuperate so you'll be sure to hear from me! Enjoy your week!

  3. No worries Ana. ;-) I have to work on my Cook the Books post dish too--I always seem to dash in at the last moment possible. ;-) Best wishes for a good surgery and a speedy recovery! See you soon.

  4. www.teczcape.blogspot.comMarch 17, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I am green with envy of your green soup! :) Thanks for the round up

  5. Green foods make my heart skip a beat!! I love how healthy and protein-full it is!

  6. Your pea soup sounds great - and such a lovely colour!

  7. love the soup - I don't use fennel enough but can see it would be brilliant here and the colour is just gorgeous

  8. Your soup looks so velveety and smooth! Love that it is packing all that protein and fiber. I keep looking for meals like that because they really stick with you.



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