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Yellow Split Pea Soup With Autumn Squash And Kale

serves 6

Farmers market tomatoes, squash, rosemary and kale make fine flavorings for a split pea soup.

 Read more about this recipe in Fresh From the Farmer's Market.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 ounces pancetta, minced
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried yellow split peas
1 fresh rosemary sprig, 4 inches long
4 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed for thinning
1/2 pound peeled hard-shelled squash such as Kabocha or Butternut, in 1/3-inch dice
1/2 pound plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/3 pound kale or green chard, ribs removed


prep: 20 minutes
total: 1 hour 30 minutes


large pot


1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add pancetta and sauté until it renders some of its fat, about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft and sweet, about 10 minutes.

2. Add split peas, rosemary, 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer, cover and adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until split peas are completely soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste often and remove rosemary sprig when rosemary flavor is strong enough. (It should be subtle.) 

3. Season soup with salt and pepper. Stir in squash and tomatoes. Stack kale leaves a few at a time and slice into ribbons about 1/4 inch wide. Stir them into the soup, cover and cook until squash and kale are tender, about 20 minutes. If soup is a little thick, thin with chicken broth. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

Janet Fletcher, Fresh From the Farmer's Market (Reissue), Chronicle Books (2008).

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