Recipes > Yellow Split Pea & Butternut Squash Soup

Yellow Split Pea & Butternut Squash Soup


This hearty winter soup is full of savory depth — yellow split peas, butternut squash, onions, garlic and ginger are all cooked together with a medley of aromatic spices. And as a bonus, this delicious soup also happens to be fat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 26,720
  • Success Rating: 87% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Starting the Soup

Starting the Soup
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • cayenne, to taste (approx. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or water
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To start, in a dry skillet, lightly toast the cumin and coriander until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and lightly crush — or grind in a spice grinder.

To begin the soup, heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and a good pinch of salt and dry-sauté the onions until soft and translucent.

Next, add the garlic, ginger and jalapeño and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the tomato paste. Let this cook for about a minute. Next, add the split peas and spices and stir to combine the ingredients. Lastly, add the stock (or water) and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat and let cook for approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the peas to not stick and burn to the bottom of the pot.

Once the peas are somewhat cooked and almost al dente, add the squash and continue to cook the soup for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the peas have cooked through. If the peas are still very slightly al dente, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the soup sit for an additional 15 minutes. This will also allow the soup to cool slightly before puréeing it.

Step 2: Finishing the Soup

Finishing the Soup
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala, or to taste
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste (approx. 1/2 a lemon)
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes, for garnish (optional)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • fried shallots, for garnish
  • chile flakes (optional)


To finish the soup, add the garam masala and lemon juice and taste for seasoning. Adding more garam masala, lemon juice, salt and/or pepper to taste.

To blend the soup, either use an immersion blender or food processor — which will produce more of a chunky soup — or use a high-speed blender for a smoother texture. If using a blender, work in batches and blend the soup for at least a minute or two, or until very smooth. Pour the soup into a clean pot.

Next, bring the soup back up to a gentle simmer. If the soup seems a bit too thick, add a bit of water or stock. Lastly, taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, lemon or garam masala, if needed.

To serve the soup, ladle into warm bowls garnish with your favorite toppings. For this soup, adding back a bit of texture — like garnishing with roasted vegetables or fried onions or shallots — makes for nice contrast against the smooth soup.

Serve with chopped cilantro, extra lemon wedges and chiles flakes, if desired.


  • Concetta H
    Concetta H
    I'm making this soup and it smells and tastes delicious so far. But is the Butternut Squash supposed to be roasted before adding to the soup? It's taking forever to cook, and we did cut it into 1" squares (I swear!).
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    HI Concetta! Sorry you are having a hard time getting it cooked. Usually 1 inch pieces of squash will cook sufficiently in 15 or 20 minutes but sometimes it takes a bit longer. This recipe does not intend for the squash to be roasted but that would add another layer of flavor and could be done while the first part of the recipe is being prepped. I would try that next time for sure! I hope it all worked out in the end. Lauren
  • Toni H
    Toni H
    Sounds great! How do you think it'll taste with using an eggplant instead of the butternut squash? I know I'll have to make adjustments as far as "wet" content (stock/broth), so I'm just wondering about TASTE. What are your thoughts?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Toni. Good question. The advantage to using a butternut here is that it creates a beautiful golden color and creamy texture due to the natural starchiness. An eggplant is quite different than a winter squash but if you peel the eggplant to avoid an off putting color, I think it could be a fine variation. The color will be more pale yellow. You might just try it and let me know how it goes. Lauren

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