Leeks, fresh dill take cozy split pea soup from drab to fab

Ellie Krieger

THE WASHINGTON POST – This soup isn’t supposed to excite me, but it does. It’s pea soup, after all, typically a metaphor for drab and boring. While it might not have the outright glamour of other soups, I am enamoured with it nonetheless.

I love that it’s a warming, filling, meal-in-a-bowl – as cozy as the softest flannel PJs – made with few steps and minimal chopping. I also appreciate how incredibly nutrient-rich and economical it is.

But this particular split pea soup really lights me up because of its unique flavour, with leeks and fresh dill coming together to elevate it from merely practical to delightfully tasty, aromatic, even elegant. (You could substitute onion and/or parsley or thyme, if need be.)

I don’t expect everyone to be quite as tickled about it as I am – I realise I’m on the far end of the bell curve of soup enthusiasts. But I am pretty sure that anyone who tries this recipe will come to appreciate pea soup in a whole new way.

Split Pea Soup With Leeks and Dill. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST


Active time: 30 minutes | Total time: One hour, 45 minutes

Six servings

This nourishing meal-in-a-bowl is as cozy and comforting as the softest flannel PJs. Leek and dill lend it a delightfully different, aromatic flavour, but you could substitute onion and/or parsley or thyme, if need be.

Storage Notes: The soup can be refrigerated for up to four days. It will thicken as it sits, so add broth or water as needed when reheating.


Several large sprigs fresh dill (about 1/2 medium bunch), plus more for optional garnish

One bay leaf

Two tablespoons olive oil

One large leek, white and light green parts only, washed well and chopped

One medium carrot (about two ounces), diced

Two ribs celery, diced

One teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One pound dried green split peas , rinsed and picked over for stones

Eight cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth


Tie the dill, reserving a few sprigs for garnish if desired, and bay leaf together with kitchen twine.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leek, carrot and celery and quarter teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about five minutes. Stir in the split peas, then add the broth, herb bundle, the remaining three-quarter teaspoon salt and quarter teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partiall covered, stirring occasionally, until the peas have lost their shape and the soup looks creamy, about one hour and 15 minutes. Remove the herb bundle, taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with the reserved dill, if using.

Nutrition | Calories: 325; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 310mg; Carbohydrates: 53g; Dietary Fibre: 16g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 24g.