Everyone on a gluten free diet needs to pay attention to fibre. It's important for gut health and so much more. This high fibre Leek and Split Pea Soup with Pistou is a delicious, hearty winter soup packed with flavour. I hope you'll try it!
If you're trying to find new soup recipes check out my Year of Soup recipe roundup post. I make them anytime but having the list is a great reminder that I have a dozen favourite soup recipes and I should make them.
The Difference Between Legumes and Pulses
I can never remember the difference between legumes and pulses. I know they’re both high in fibre and excellent for a gluten free diet. I know how to cook with them and I know I should eat more.
Yet I still refer back to this explanation right here when I need to.
- Legumes refer to plants whose fruit is enclosed in a pod. Fresh beans, including soybeans, peas and peanuts are all legumes. Alfalfa and clover are also legumes but I cannot picture either of them in my mind.
- Pulses are in the legume family and refer to the dried seed of the legume plant. Dried peas (like split peas), edible beans (kidney beans and black beans), lentils and chickpeas are all pulses.
You don't need to memorize that but if you eat gluten free you need more fibre. That’s why you should make this soup, find high fibre recipes you love and add them to your menu rotation.
What is Pistou Sauce?
Pistou is a French sauce similar to Italian pesto but without nuts. Not all recipes use tomato but mine does. I first made this simple recipe in winter with canned tomato paste and dried basil and have never looked back.
The pistou can be dolloped right into the soup as you serve it. This is so the diner can swirl the sauce into their hot soup, watch it melt and anticipate the flavours as the aroma wafts up to their nose.
That rarely happens in my kitchen. I stir the pistou right into the soup, serve it and portion some for lunch and the rest for the freezer.
Get The Tools
For the everyday home cook like me the largest pot in a typical set of pots is perfect for making soup. A modern Dutch oven is the gorgeous Le Creuset enamelled cast iron pot. They're heavy and expensive but will last you a lifetime. For a fraction of the cost you can buy a lesser quality enamelled cast iron Dutch oven and I’m pretty sure it would last half a lifetime.
I'd love to hear if you tried this soup and what you thought of the pistou. Let me know in the comments below.
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Leek Split Pea Soup with Pistou
- 3 leeks
- 8 oz Italian sausage
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1½ cups thinly sliced potatoes
- 4 cups GF chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup split peas, rinsed (or lentils)
- 8 oz green beans, cut into 1” pieces (or substitute another ½ cup split peas)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz/156 ml)
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1½ tablespoon dried basil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Cut root and green top off leeks. Cut lengthwise and rinse under water to remove dirt. Slice thinly.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook sausage turning, until browned on all sides. Remove sausage and cut in half lengthwise, then slice to desired thickness. Return sausage to the pot and add leeks and carrots. Cook stirring for 5 minutes until leeks are limp.
- Add potato, chicken stock, water and split peas. Simmer covered until split peas are soft, about 40 minutes.
- Add green beans to soup, simmer covered for 10 minutes until beans are cooked.
- Mix all the pistou into the soup, stir until combined and serve. Alternately, top each bowl of soup with a generous dollop of pistou and serve.
- In a small bowl mix together all the pistou sauce ingredients. Add to soup as directed above.