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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Split Pea Soup (Gluten-Free)

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Talk about classic. It doesn't get much more classic than pea soup. I imagine some versions of pea or bean soup must go back hundreds of years, or more. Pea soup is simple, hearty, and delicious. This version of classic split pea soup is a satisfying meal that's gluten-free, low in fat and high in flavor and nutrition. This recipe makes enough soup to serve about four to six people.

    Ingredients:
    2 teaspoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
    1 cup chopped onion
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    1 large leek, chopped
    1 large carrot, chopped
    1 large clove of garlic, halved
    1 pound dried split peas
    2 meaty ham hocks, rinsed
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)

    Directions:
    For this recipe, you may use either soaked or un-soaked peas. Just remember that un-soaked peas take about 1 to 2 hours of simmering, depending on how solid you want them, while soaked peas take about 40 minutes.

    In a medium pot, saute onions in oil or bacon grease. Reduce heat to low, and add split peas, and ham hocks. Add enough water to cover ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.

    Skim the foam off the top of the soup, and continue for several minutes until foam stops forming.

    Cover, and simmer until the peas are soft, or until they have broken down fully, up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, so they don't stick to the pan.

    Peas soak up a lot of water, so, check during the simmer to see if water has evaporated. Add more water as needed to achieve desired texture. Remember, the peas only need to be cooked until tender. Those who like a smoother, creamier texture can cook them longer until they break down.

    When the peas are soft and the veggies are cooked, stir in your favorite seasonings and keep on tasting until it's just right.  Add salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and lemon juice.

    Remember, when adding lemon juice, or anything acidic, do so at the very end of cooking to avoid hard, underdone peas. Once the soup has cooked just short of desired consistency, remove from heat, and let stand so it will thicken. Remove ham hocks. If desired, strip away meat, chop and add to soup.

    Once the soup has thickened, it may be necessary to return it to the heat to warm briefly before serving.


    User Feedback

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    Split pea soup is such a great comfort food! I would ask that you add "Gluten Free" split peas to your ingredient list to reinforce that not all packages of dried split peas are gluten free. I was caught off guard by a package that had no warnings about "may contain wheat" beside the ingredients but had labelled it in fine print in the far random corner of the product. My son is now sick. I think we can't be reminded enough if we are still getting caught by bad labeling and I've been trying to navigate this gluten free diet for over 2 years now. Thanks for the soup recipe!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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