1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black peppermore to taste
1pound2 1/4 cups green split peas, soaked for few hours (or overnight) and drained, if possible
2medium sized yukon gold potatoespeeled and diced (about 3/4 lb)
6-8cupslow sodium vegetable broth
1-2tablespoonslemon juiceto taste
For the tempeh croutons:
8ouncestempehcut into small cubes
2teaspoonsolive or vegetable oil
To prepare the tempeh croutons, whisk together the lemon juice, tamari, syrup, oil, smoked paprika, and a generous pinch of black pepper. Place the tempeh cubes in a glasslock container. Pour the marinade over the cubes, cover, and shake a bit to coat. Refrigerate the cubes and allow them to marinate for at least an hour, or up to 12 hours. When the cubes are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the cubes from the marinade (discarding the marinade) and transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy at the edges. The cubes will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
To prepare the soup, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and clear. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika. Saute for another minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the salt, pepper, split peas, potato, and 6 cups broth to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the split peas are very tender. Stir the soup every now and then. If it seems too thick for your liking after 40 minutes or so, add the remaining broth as needed.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup partially or entirely, if you like (you can also transfer a portion of it to a standing blender, blend, then return the puree to the soup pot). Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed. Finally, stir in the lemon juice.
To serve, divide the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a few tempeh croutons. You can also crumble the tempeh over the soup if you prefer!
Leftover soup will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 1 month.