Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup

After all these years, this soup is the first recipe I’ve ever made from a magazine. I’m not sure why I’ve given more credence to hard cover books than to glossy magazines, but I have — until now.

Vegetarian Times (March 2012) hit one out of the ball park with its Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup. I made this deliciousness on Valentine’s Day, so to put the world back into balance, I’m going to have to make something red or pink for St. Patrick’s Day.

This is the first split pea soup recipe I’ve seen which purees the peas rather than leave the soup chunky. I’m a fan. Well, I’m a fan of chunky too, but this really worked for me. I hope you enjoy it too!

What you need:

  • 2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 15 oz. dried green split peas (picked over, rinsed, and drained)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 oz. baby spinach leaves

What to do:

  1. Heat saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine, and simmer 2 minutes. Add split peas, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook, uncovered 10 minutes, or until split peas are tender. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
  3. Remove bay leaf, and puree soup with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toast remaining 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds in small skillet 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds.


Per 1 1/4-cup serving: 227 cal., 13 g protein, 2 g total fat (<1 g sat fat), 42 g carb, 0 mg chol, 481 mg sod, 21 g fiber, 3 g sugars.

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  1. Tom D says:

    May I share that this was just phenomenal? I was a little skeptical going in, but wow, soup that doesn’t even need bread to make it good–that’s quite a statement!!

  2. Melanie Wilkinson says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I had made it from the Veg Times magazine and then proceeded to lose it…oops 🙂 So grateful to have found it here! We received some fennel in our CSA box and I had absolutely no idea what to do with it. I’m sure there are many great fennel recipes out there but I can’t stop thinking about this one. Absolutely delicious!

  3. Tracy Krulik says:

    Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables. Try grilling it with a little extra virgin olive oil and salt– so tasty! One of my cookbooks has a recipe for pasta mixed with a bit of grilled fennel and some sun-dried tomatoes. Perfect summer dinner.

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