There's nothing better than a pot of stew simmering away on the stove. This vegan Italian split pea stew recipe is hearty, healthy and delicious!
When I first met my husband, he was anti-split peas in any form. Let’s just say that there was a split pea soup incident when he was young that made it unlikely that he would ever taste another split pea. I left it alone for the first couple years of our marriage, choosing instead to foster love rather than bitterness around the dinner table. Leftover ham bones were used for things other than split pea soup. Everyone was happy enough with our split pea-free life. But then I found a recipe that changed everything.
It was a recipe for a vegetarian version of split pea soup. No ham bone. I gave it a try and, lo and behold, my husband loved it. Even though he loves ham, there’s something about the flavor that the ham bone imparts into the soup that just doesn’t sit right with him. But this ham-less version was the trick I needed to turn the tide.
These days, he’s a staunch supporter of the little split pea, yellow or green, and appreciates it for its awesome supply of fiber, potassium, protein and folate. They’re heart healthy little morsels that can be transformed into soups, stews, curries and even meatless burgers. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re cheap, making them a great option when you’re trying to cut back on the weekly grocery bill.
After signing on for the Pulse Pledge as part of the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses, my family and I have been eating more dry peas, beans, lentil and chickpeas. While some other dried pulses (for example, dried beans) need to be soaked overnight before cooking, you can skip this step with dry split peas. It takes about 45 minutes for the split peas to soften up when simmering in hot broth or water.
This split pea stew is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal, with a rich texture from the softened peas, plenty of flavor from Italian seasoning and sautéed aromatics, and an extra dose of veggies (cauliflower!) Serve it alongside a crusty loaf of bread – all good stews deserve some good bread dunking. If you have leftovers, cover and refrigerate. The stew will thicken even more overnight, so stir in some extra vegetable broth when reheating the stew if you prefer a thinner texture.
Italian Split Pea Stew Recipe with Cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 large stalk celery diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 cup split peas
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 ½ cups water
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- ¾ cup canned diced tomatoes no liquid
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the split peas, vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the peas are just tender, about 45 minutes.
- Stir in the cauliflower and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve.
Other healthy recipes with pulses:
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