Split pea soup, usually made by simmering yellow split peas, puréed carrots, and onions with diced ham, is a well-known delicious dish.
You may have heard a lot about this tasty creamy soup, and wondered: is split pea soup healthy?
Is Split Pea Soup Healthy?
Is split pea soup healthy? – Yes! It is made with healthy ingredients filled with dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
So, what are the benefits of split peas soup? Keep on reading to discover!
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Like chickpeas, split peas are great sources of soluble fiber. In fact, you only need to take a small cup of these peas in your daily diet to meet around 65% of the daily recommended value of fiber.
The soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. Then, this substance will expand to help keep the cholesterol-containing bile in the mucous layers. Thus, the cholesterol will pass through the digestive system and go out of your body.
For these reasons, this tasty soup is beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Asides from reducing cholesterol levels, the great source of fiber helps to adjust blood sugar levels to meet the standard level.
That’s because the soluble fiber slows down the sugar-absorbing process and helps release the glucose into the bloodstream at a slow speed. In this way, the chance of having a spike in blood sugar will decrease.
Moreover, since split peas supply a sufficient energy source, it is beneficial for those struggling with diabetes.
Reduces Risk Of Having Certain Types Of Cancer
What other pea soup benefits can you gain when enjoying this yummy soup?
Well, split pea soup decreases the risk of having breast cancer since it contains isoflavones.
Isoflavones are compounds that alter the steroid hormone concentrations and menstrual cycle length, thereby affecting estrogen metabolism. Thus, taking them in proper amounts reduces the risk for breast carcinoma.
Moreover, isoflavones have been proven to reduce hot flashes – a common uncomfortable symptom of the menopausal transition. Hot flashes also happen in women who have menopause after chemotherapy or have removed their ovaries.
Reduces Sulfite Sensitivity
Is pea soup good for you if you are struggling with sulfite sensitivity?
For those having sulfite allergy, this nutrient-dense soup can help heal you from some symptoms, such as headache, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, and nausea.
To clarify, it comes with a mineral called molybdenum which helps your body get rid of the toxicity of sulfites. A cup of pea soup diet can provide almost twice the daily recommended value of molybdenum.
Heals Digestive Disorder
If you struggle with digestive system issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, consuming this cozy soup properly might help you out.
The reason is that it features high soluble fiber content. Once entering the stomach and intestines, the fiber in split pea soup dissolves in water and gastrointestinal fluids and turns into a gel-like substance.
Later, this substance is digested by bacteria in the large intestine, releasing gases and some calories. This way, it helps the digestive tract working smoothly and enables waste to push out of the body more easily.
So, does pea soup give you gas and help your digestion? You might ask. The answer is yes. It surely helps you stay away from digestive disorders and prevent constipation.
Helps You To Lose Weight
Moreover, this delectable soup might help in weight loss as it is super rich in fiber and protein.
It provides tons of energy due to its complex carbohydrates yet is pretty low in calories. Calories in a cup of split pea soup are about 160 calories.
As such, eating even a small portion of this tasty soup can make you feel full much longer while wiping out all your worries about gaining weight.
Additionally, pea soup nutrition is rich as it features diverse minerals and nutrients for a fit body, such as vitamins B1, B5, K, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Consideration For Cooking And This Hearty Soup
The health benefits of split pea soup are numerous. However, you should consume it in moderation due to its salt content.
Many food manufacturers use high sodium levels to boost the flavor and lengthen the shelf life of canned soup. Hence, eating large amounts of regular store-bought soup might cause you to cross the sodium intake limit.
As such, you are likely to have high blood pressure, increasing the chances of having cardiovascular disease.
To avoid this issue, you either buy the low-sodium split pea soup versions or follow the simple pea soup recipe below to create your tasty soup within a short period.
Split Pea Soup Recipe
In this part, we will show you how to bring out the yummy split pea soup with ham hocks and potatoes with ease.
- 1 large ham hock or a large ham bone
- 2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped into small chunks
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 pound of dried green split peas, rinsed
- 8 cups of ham stock (or low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth for low sodium split pea soup recipe)
- 1 bay leaf
- A small bunch of fresh parsley
- ½ tsp of smoked paprika to add a seductive smoky flavor and aroma
- Vegetable oil (we suggest using olive oil)
- Salt and black pepper
- Step 1: Saute the onions and garlic in vegetable oil in a soup pot
- Step 2: Add the split peas, carrots, celery, and hocks, to the above mixture.
- Step 3: Pour the stock into the pot, and add the herb and bring the mixture to a boil.
Pour the ham stock into the large pot. Then, use a kitchen string to tie the bay leaf and the parsley before adding them to the soup.
Thereafter, add the prepared herb, paprika, and season with salt with black pepper.
- Step 4: Simmer the split pea soup.
- Boil the soup over high heat, then simmer it for 30 minutes on medium heat. While simmering, remember to stir often and add more cups water until the soup reaches the desired consistency.
- Step 5: Add the potatoes and cook the soup for about 30 minutes, or until most of the split peas become disintegrated.
- Step 6: Remove the pot from the heat and take the bone to the bowl to cool.
- Step 7: Pull all the meat out of the ham bone and shred.
- Step 8: Take the herb bundle out of the soup and discard it.
- Step 9: Add the shredded meat to the soup and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Step 10: Serve the split pea soup with ham hock and potatoes.