Today I felt like a real cook as I had a request for Fava or Yellow Spilt Pea Soup. Technically it’s not really my recipe, but a recipe that I had acquired many years ago from a lovely Greek family. This is a recipe that I regularly cook and is a true winter favourite!
The first time I had this delicious, creamy and simple soup still resonates as a beautiful food memory. I remember sitting at the table being mesmerised by this dish. The steaming pot of soup, the drizzling of olive oil, the squeezing of lemon and the crunching of shallots. Everyone passing around different plates of olives, tomatoes and shallots to accompany the soup. I remember thinking at the time ‘this is family eating!’ I also remember when I asked for the recipe thinking ‘how can something so simple be so delicious!’
I’ve lost the original recipe somewhere my travels so here’s my take on Fava or Yellow Spilt Pea Soup.
You will need:
2 cups of Yellow Spilt Peas
1 – 2 finely diced medium onions
1 litre of water
Rinse the spilt peas in cold water and discard any of the discoloured peas. In a large pot, place the peas in 1 litre of room temperature water and bring to the boil. You might notice a slight foam starts to appear on the surface, simply skim (scoop away) and discard. Add the diced onion and pinch or two of salt. And here comes the tricky part, turn down the heat so the liquid is simmering, place the lid on the pot and cook for 1.5 – 2 hours. Every now and then (when you remember) gently stir your soup. You will know the soup is ready when the onions and the yellow spilt peas disappear and in their place is a creamy, yellow, gorgeous soup (no need for the hand blender). Eh voila! Taste your soup and season as desired. Drizzle a generous serving of olive oil and squeeze over fresh lemon juice.
I love eating Fava with lots of accompaniments, mezze style; think of a deconstructed greek salad, which I dip into the soup. Place small bowls of tomatoes, olives, feta, flat leaf parsley, capers, shallots or spanish onion and some crusty bread on the table. The best part of this meal is watching your guests pass around the bowls of food and top up their soup with delicious fresh ingredients. Add an additional splash of olive oil and lemon juice about half way through your meal!
I am sure there are quicker ways of cooking this soup, but I just adore this simple, slow cooked recipe.