Butternut Squash and Split Pea Soup

by Gena on February 19, 2011

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Glad you’re all into the chia hemp power pudding! I suspected you would be Smile

If M were chiming in as I write this, he’d think of a good name for the stew I’m about to share. As you can see, the name I’ve given it is none too creative. But let that not dissuade you, readers: this is a tasty one.

When I was a normal working lady, coming home to dinner was my favorite ritual. No, I didn’t always have the luxury of a home made meal at the end of each day, but I’d say there were at least three nights each week when I could come home from the office, make a great dinner, and eat it in the quiet comfort of my little apartment. Nowadays, I get home from class anytime between 8 pm and 11 pm, so those perfect weekday meals are a thing of the past: sometimes I manage a great mid-week dinner, but more often than not I’m throwing together a salad as quickly as I know how.

As recompense for this, I spend my weekdays looking forward to my two favorite rituals: being reunited with M at the end of each week, and cooking. Friday mornings are always a high point for me, since I can wake up knowing that my day will end either with my arrival in D.C., or M’s arrival here. And amidst all of that, dinner will have to be made.

Last night, I got to D.C. after a long week of exams and counseling work. It was a perfect night for a rewarding, home cooked meal if ever there was one, but I needed that meal to be fast and easy. Pressure cooker to the rescue! As you all know, M introduced me to the wonder that is the pressure cooker early in our relationship, and life hasn’t been the same since. I know I owe you guys a tutorial, and I swear I’ll get on that, but in the meantime let me tell you about the quick and easy soup I threw together in 10 minutes with its trusty help.

Spontaneity doesn’t rank too high in my skills as a chef. I’m great at making recipes up, following them, and I’m a champ at planning: give me a dinner party or a busy week of packed lunches and I’ll have a step-by-step game plan at the ready in a moment’s time. I’m methodical and I think ahead, and I find this to be a good asset as a food blogger. What I wish I had, though, is that magical quality that truly “chefly” people seem to have: the capacity to improvise brilliantly. I’m a self-trained cook who’s proud of her progress, but boy do I wish I could simply gaze into a pantry or a grocery box and be flooded with brilliant meal ideas and flavor pairings.

Sigh. One day.

For now, I’m getting better at working spontaneously with ingredients on hand. Case in point? A soup that came from my leftover butternut squash, M’s brand new split peas, a grocery box full of kale and chard, and a cabinet stocked with spices.

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Butternut Squash and Split Pea Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free)

Serves 3-4

1 lb butternut squash, chopped into small chunks or cubes
1 cup green or yellow split peas
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 1/2 cups water with 1/2 vegan bouillan cub, or 5 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1-2 tsps curry powder (adjust this to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker and bring to a low boil. Seal the cooker and cook on high pressure for 7 or 8 minutes.

Release pressure (naturally or quick release) and serve. I enjoyed my with a sprinkle of nooch on top!

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simply bring the ingredients to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until squash and peas are tender (45 min or so).

It was delicious on its own:

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And equally excellent with some kale salad and Ezekiel toast:

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What a perfect way to end the week: twin homecomings. Reunited with M and the kitchen, all’s right with the world.

What’s your favorite Friday or weekend ritual? And what sort of food goes with it?


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina Pruitt February 20, 2011 at 12:49 am

Sounds delicious! What is the second ingredient? Green or yellow ______? Thanks for the good eats, sunshine!



JL goes Vegan February 20, 2011 at 8:04 am

Tina, I think that’s green or yellow split peas.


Katie February 20, 2011 at 12:55 am

I ate steamed butternut and kale chips today. It was a Gena-esque day. :)


Mama Pea February 20, 2011 at 1:02 am

Such a sweet post. I feel the love. I also like the looks of that soup because I’m not a hard core split pea fan but I do like me some sweet butternut. Hence, the perfect recipea. I told you I was feeling the love.


Sarah (Flavoropolis) February 20, 2011 at 1:50 am

Split pea and butternut squash are without a doubt two of the best soups out there. Combining them sounds amazing!!


VeggieGirl February 20, 2011 at 6:18 am

Every Friday, Suave Slav and I go to a salsa club to keep practicing our dancing and to just have fun. Definitely my favorite ritual :)


Hannah February 20, 2011 at 7:23 am

Oh no! I just roasted up the last of my butternut squash for dinner tonight! Funnily enough, I used almost exactly the spices you’ve showcased here :) Will definitely have to pick up more squash soon!


JL goes Vegan February 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

When I saw the title of the post I thought “please use the pressure cooker!” LOL

I bought my pressure cooker because of you and M (used it last night to make taco-flavored lentils!) and I now keep two jars of split peas on hand at all times, because it’s the perfect addition to pressure cooker soup recipes. I just need to pick up a squash and I’m ready to make this gorgeous-looking soup!


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn February 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

Butternut squash and split pea are my two favorite soups! You are a mind reader:)

My favorite ritual is Indulgence Friday on the bloggity blog! It always challenges me to think of a new dessert recipe. This week, I made a raw chocolate fudge cake!:)


Lauren February 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

Oh yum! Food twin I heart you! I’m mad I already did my grocery shopping yesterday! I’ll have to make this the following week! can’t wait!


Katie February 20, 2011 at 10:46 am

Baby Lillian has a dinner of pureed butternut squash and peas on a regular basis. So she should transition smoothly to this soup soon enough. :)


melissa February 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

i cheated and bought TJs bnut squash soup. being a newly minted city girl, i’m finding it hard to carve out time for cooking/blogging with my new schedule. i’m making food on sundays and putting it together as i go through the week. it’s exciting but def an adjustment!


Christin@purplebirdblog February 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

Two of my favorite soups in one… pure heaven!


Allie February 20, 2011 at 11:26 am

My boyfriend and I used to be in a LDR for a year and a half so I know how you feel when you wake up and know that you’ll see your sig. other by the end of the day. =) Now we have Saturdays off together, so we sleep in and when we wake up we make fresh orange juice by blending up tangerines or some other type of mini orange and pushing the juice through a sieve (not a fan of pulp). Then we watch Dexter (awesome TV show) and the rest of the day is devoted to studying.


Christine (The Raw Project) February 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

Wow, this soup looks wonderful, thanks Gena! I lack time in the kitchen on week days too thanks to my work and training schedule, so I like to take a little time on the weekends to prepare for the week by soaking beans in the fridge, making fresh nut or seed milks and starting a new batch or two of fresh sprouts. If I have more time, maybe a dehydrator recipe.


Mel A February 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

First of all – Gena thank you for your blog! I used to be a vegetarian and then I just got away from that lifestyle. I’m trying to transition now to not just vegetarian but vegan. Your blog is so interesting and inspiring and down-to-earth and you truly do keep me on my toes!

Secondly, the soup looks delish! Can’t wait to try it! Just in case you still want a name I suggest SUNSHINE IN A BOWL! :)


Nadia February 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I made two soups yesterday – one was butternut (with puree’d cannellini beans) and the other was split pea! If only I had combined the two ;-)


Sylvia February 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I like your titles! Simple, direct and to the point. It’s always clear what the recipe is, which I appreciate.


Sylvia February 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I like your titles! Simple, direct and to the point. It’s always clear what the recipe is, which I appreciate. :)


honeybee February 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

While its commendable that you are eating healthy during busy times, sadly I don’t think pressure cooking is very healthy. (Source: Gabriel Cousen’s “conscious eating” ) I used to own a pressure cooker (every Indian household has one), but I gave it away to a friend (delighted her), when I found out that it is one of the worst ways of cooking… forces me to take time and cook food, or avoid time consuming foods when I’m too busy.


melissa February 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

looks amazing. I am completely void of spontaneity in the kitchen. I don’t have the cooking confidence to create anything without a recipe!


falalaraw February 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

When you cook your split peas, do you soak them and and cook them to take the gasses out first then make them in your soup, or just throw them in as is and let them do their thing?


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) February 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

It’s crazy that food cooks so quickly in the pressure cooker! Must get pressure cooker . . . must get pressure cooker . . . LOL

The soup looks perfect. So you think I could just dump everything into a crock pot and let it cook all day?


Stephen Swann February 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I made it tonight and Wow! Scrum. ptious! The only change I made was to add cayenne pepper. But don’t go by me on that, I put cayenne in my fruit smoothies. Thanks!


bitt February 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I made a soup with butternut and split peas a few months ago. And coconut. So good! Great combo.


sophia February 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Ooh, everyone seems to have split pea soup in their brains! This is the fifth post I’ve read with split pea soup…but honestly, I can’t ever get enough. I really love to blend different recipes together to form my own “perfect” soup for me. :-)
I certainly love the butternut squash in here…it adds a natural sweetness!

My favorite Friday ritual…eh, don’t have any. Every Friday is hectic as hell!


Laura February 21, 2011 at 12:35 am

Genius! My squash soup always leaves me starving afterwards. It’s more of an opening than a meal. The addition of the split peas really adds to the color and I’ll be that you feel full and not starving afterwards.

Love it!!!


hip pressure cooking
making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!


Nour (ilovetoeat.ca) February 21, 2011 at 2:53 am

This sounds and looks absolutely delicious, but it sucks that I am allergic to butternut squash :( Do you think it would workout if I used sweet potatoes instead?


Alisha February 21, 2011 at 8:15 am

The beautiful color alone is reason to make this amazing soup! Thanks so much for sharing your rituals and your wonderful recipe. :)


Katie (quickcookrice) February 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Yum. Nothing like love (and soup) to warm our hearts! You often mention M’s produce box. Wouldn’t happen to be a delivery from Washington’s Green Grocer, would it? That’s what I get delivered to my house, and there’s nothing like “box day” – a giant goodie box of fruits and veggies on my doorstep. What more could a gal want?


Gena March 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Sure is, missy!!! I’ve never done a box or CSA, so it’s super exciting to me when I arrive to the box on Friday at M’s place.

Wait, so, you’re a DC gal? I smell a meetup…


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Not sure how I missed this post…but just wanted to say, wow the soup looks wonderful!

And so happy that you have some things to look forward to during the week to help get you THROUGH the week. My Fri nite ritual? Working. Oh well :)


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I too have limited amounts of time for cooking during the week, so often look forward to cooking on weekends :) Yay for Fridays!


Sarah February 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Holy wow. I made this… okay I must confess my awesome mom made this for me today while I was at school – and it was awesome! seriously. So. Good. She didn’t blend the peas and the butternut together but the texture of the butternut with the chewy yummy peas was really nice – I haven’t had peas in a long time.

One thing though: the instructions at the bottom say lentils instead of peas. Also I think that the cooking time for the peas might need to be adjusted. My mom said that after 45 minutes they were still hard… maybe like 10-20 minutes longer? Just a thought! Awesome reciPEA Gena (:



Gena February 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Fixed the “lentils” typo — thanks!


Victoria February 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Looks grand. Healthy comfort food at its best!


Agnes March 3, 2011 at 5:28 am

I made the soup a couple of days ago and, WOW!, serious yumminess! I had to leave out the curry powder because I had none and I subbed in a tsp of nutmeg. Still came out seriously yummy. Thanks for the recipe!


Gena March 3, 2011 at 7:12 am

Hooray! Glad you liked.


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