Hungarian főzelék (vegetable stews) can be made not just from fresh vegetables, but from dried legumes, too. Split peas (sárgaborsó, felesborsó in Hungarian) are available any time of the year and perfect choice for a thick, delicious stew. As the taste of split peas is quite characteristic, dishes made from them are divisive, that’s why they don’t win everbody’s approval.
Split peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully ripe and then drying them. Once they are dried and the outer skin removed, they split naturally. There are two types of split peas, green and yellow. Green split peas are sweeter and less starchy than the milder yellow split peas (the latter are more popular in Hungary). Split peas are high in protein and low in fat, and also known to be a natural food source that contains some of the highest amounts of dietary fiber.
Opinions vary whether it is worth soaking split peas. I prefer to soak them overnight because they turn creamier when cooked through. But you can choose to skip soaking.
- 250 g (~8-9 oz) yellow split peas
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lard
- 1 tbsp homemade seasoning
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- 2 heaping tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp sour cream
Pick through the peas and remove any debris and dirt. Cover the split peas with a few inches of water and leave them on the counter overnight.
The next day, drain and rinse the split peas. Melt the lard and sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic until translucent. Pour in 1 liter/4 cups of water and add the split peas. Add homemade seasoning, bay leaf,paprika and pepper, cover and cook over medium heat until tender.
Once the peas are tender, whisk flour, sour cream and 100 ml / 1/2 cup of water together and in a fine stream pour into the soup while stirring constantly. Adjust salt and cook for a few minutes until the stew thickens.
Split pea stew goes well with roasted sausages or Vienna sausages.