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and drink
by Shari Darling
Classic French pea soup
to mind when we think of yellow split
peas. But there are so many more fabu-
lous recipes celebrating this healthy
legume. Many recipes can be comple-
mented by a range of table wines.
Yellow split peas have the texture and
earthy favour to match both whites
and reds.
Split peas have been part of our diet
since as far back as 6,000 BC. While
some authorities believe that this
legume originated in the Middle East
and then moved throughout Asia, oth-
ers claim that it started in India, Burma
and Northern Thailand.
Despite its origin, yellow split peas have
been an integral part of Canadian cui-
sine. Canada is also one of the world’s
largest exporters of this pea.
French-Canadian split pea soup, known
as soupe aux pois (jaunes), is a tradi-
tional Quebec dish and incorporates
salt pork and seasonings. The recipe
was created during the First World War.
Apparently, General Sir Arthur William
Currie fed his French-Canadian regi-
ments this soup to improve their per-
formance on the battlefeld.
Newfoundland pea soup is similar, but
usually includes potatoes, carrots, peas
and dough boys (dumplings). My father
is from Twillingate, Newfoundland.
While writing this piece, I took a break
and headed to his house. Behold, a
pot of pea soup was simmering on the
As a family, we still enjoy a large Jiggs
dinner on special occasions; this always
includes peas pudding. Split peas are
placed in a cheesecloth and boiled in a
large pot, along with other vegetables
such as potatoes, carrots, turnip and
cabbage. During dinner, the boiled
water called ‘pot liquor’ (now full of the
vitamins and minerals) is poured over
the pudding and vegetables.
Yellow split peas contain both soluble
and non-soluble fbre, thus helping to
lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar
and remedy bowel issues such as irrita-
ble bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.
They are also a good source of protein,
containing nine amino acids. When
combined with rice, the dish becomes
a perfect protein. Along with two
B-vitamins, these peas have several
important minerals and isofavones,
helping to reduce the risk of breast and
prostate cancers.
Due to their weight and earthy charac-
ter, yellow split peas are celebrated in a
variety of ethnic dishes.
Try Thai yellow split pea soup with
spinach, coconut, lemon grass, galan-
gal, lime, salt, turmeric, cardamom,
cinnamon, red pepper fakes, garlic,
ginger and fnely diced cilantro. Pair
this soup with an of-dry white wine
having a sugar code of at least three.
The coconut base works nicely with the
sweetness. The soup’s heat and spice
are ofset by the wine’s sweetness.
If you love full-bodied red wine, try
lamb and yellow split pea stew or yel-
low split pea stew with smoked bacon
and rosemary.
I recently prepared a Middle Eastern-
style yellow split pea soup with fresh
lemon, garlic, olive oil and parsley. I
added some fat-free ham for texture.
The bright lemon favours of this soup
harmonize extremely well with a New
Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Other wines
that complement this soup include
Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Pinot
Blanc and Albarino.
Yellow Split Peas