Split Pea Soup with Balsamic Vinegar

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Abra Berens/Grist

You already know about our not-so-secret love for split pea soup—it’s not a looker, but wow, does it taste good. Now, up your soup game with this recipe for split pea soup with balsamic vinegar from Abra Berens’s new cookbook, Grist. It’s topped with homemade chili oil and lemon-parsley mojo for extra zing. (You’ll want to put them on everything.)

“The addition of balsamic vinegar comes straight from my friend Meg Fish’s table,” she writes. “She ladled up big bowls of soup topped with four or five drips of the tangy, sweet liquid, and I’ve never gone back.”

Looks like we’re never going back either. Ready thy spoons, friends.

Reprinted from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens with permission from Chronicle Books, 2021. Photographs © EE Berger.

Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup


Chili Oil

1 cup (250ml) neutral oil

2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

Lemon-Parsley Mojo

1 cup (250ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Juice and zest of 2 lemons (about 3 ounces/90ml)

10 sprigs parsley, (about 60g or 1 cup chopped)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Split Pea Soup

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

1 cup (225g) thinly sliced onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 anchovy fillets

Kosher salt

1 cup (250ml) white wine or hard cider

2 cups (400g) split peas, green or yellow

1 Yukon gold potato (about 8 ounces/225g), peeled and cut into chunks

2 carrots (about 4 ounces/120g), cut into chunks

For serving

2 ounces (60ml) sour cream per person

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar per person

1 teaspoon Chili Oil per person

1 tablespoon Lemon Parsley Mojo per person


1. Make the Chili Oil: In a medium saucepan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the pepper flakes and let steep for 5 minutes.

2. Make the Lemon-Parsley Mojo: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, parsley and salt to make a chunky, oily paste.

3. Make the Split Pea Soup: In a medium pot, heat a glug of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, anchovies and a big pinch of salt and sweat until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Add the wine or cider and simmer until reduced by half. Add the split peas, potato, carrots and 8 cups of water; bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until the peas and vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. You can either leave the soup loose and chunky or blend it with an immersion blender to make it smooth. Adjust the seasoning as desired.

5. To serve, dish the soup into individual bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a spoonful of chili oil and a swirl of lemon parsley mojo.

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