I never actually tried a soup with yellow split peas before, but I sampled a similar recipe in Dubai’s kosher restaurant, located in the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. When I got back home I just had to recreate it, and I think I truly got it! It has a smooth and creamy texture along with subtle hints of Arabian flavor. Now I don’t need to travel 14 hours just to get my fix!
Place split peas in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the peas and cover by several inches. Soak for at least one hour, or even overnight.
In a large pot, sauté onion in oil until soft and golden. Add squash, carrot, and parsnip and sauté an additional 10–15 minutes. Add chicken soup, soaked split peas, salt, pepper, and cumin. Bring to a boil and lower heat, simmering for at least an hour and a half, or until peas have disintegrated. Add lemon juice and blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy.
To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and top each portion with several fresh spinach leaves, mixing gently. They will wilt slightly from the heat. Add a handful of croutons to each bowl and serve immediately.
This freezes well, but you may need to add some additional chicken soup when reheating if the soup gets too thick.
Food and Prop Styling by Renee Muller
Photography by Hudi Greenberger