Leek, tahini and saffron sauce with split peas and roast vegetables

The leek, tahini and saffron sauce is definitely the star here!
Not that the split peas and veg aren’t tasty, but the sauce, savoury from the tahini but with a lovely sweetness from the leeks, and an exotic earthiness from the saffron is gorgeous.
The lemon juice brings all the flavours out beautifully!
The split peas are cooked with sweet potato until very soft, making a sort of mash, then combined with yellow peppers, courgette and cherry tomatoes roasted on a very high heat so they have lovely little charred bits. It makes a great comforting base for the sauce!


Leek, tahini and saffron sauce with split peas and roasted vegetables

makes 4 servings

for the split peas
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm ish cubes (mine was around 500 g unpeeled)
125 g yellow split peas
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/4 tsp dried thyme
450 ml hot water
for the roasted vegetables
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 courgette, diced
240 g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp oil
salt and pepper
for the sauce
400 g leeks, sliced (I used baby leeks, but one regular leek should do it)

50 ml water
2 tbsp tahini
a small pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp water
juice of half a lemon
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.
Put the split peas, sweet potato, herbs and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer, partially covered, stirring every so often, until lovely and soft. Mine took 40 minutes. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon to break up some of the peas and the sweet potato.
While the peas are cooking roast the veg. Combine all of the ingredients in a large roasting tin, mixing well to distribute the oil over the vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables over once.
To make the sauce, microwave the leeks with 50 ml of water until tender. Mine took 4 minutes in total, stirring after every 1 minute burst. Tip the leeks and their steaming water into a food processor, and add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and the saffron with its soaking water. Whizz together until well combined, but still with a little texture.
Mix the roasted vegetables into the split peas, and serve with the sauce rippled through.

By E.


A sort of chowder, with yellow split peas and vegetables

I’d been thinking along the lines of a chowder for my latest soup, but I wanted to make something a little more nutritious than the usual potato and cream base (and of course vegan!).

So I’ve used yellow split peas as the main ingredient as they really do break down beautifully and make a lovely textured soup.

With plenty of vegetables (including sweetcorn!) and a little chilli and soy yoghurt added at the end, it makes a gorgeous satisfying soup which tastes rich but really isn’t, if you see what I mean..!

A sort of chowder...

A sort of chowder…

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Onion and yellow split pea oven soup

It’s being a tiring few days here at veganbungalow, so I needed to make something easy and nutritious that can be quickly heated up and will do for a few meals. Something that is also tasty and tempting enough to stop me living off cup a soups and sandwiches…

An oven soup seemed perfect, as I can just put everything in the pot and leave it be for a while. I’ve used onions as the main vegetable, as they make such a savoury, comforting soup when braised for a long time until they’re soft and silky. Also, they’re particularly comforting when paired with herbs, here I’ve used bay, thyme and rosemary.

Then there’s carrot and celery for a deeper flavour, and yellow split peas for protein and all the other good things they’re full of.

Onion and yellow split pea oven soup

Onion and yellow split pea oven soup

makes 3 to 4 servings

500 g onions, thinly sliced (I used 5 smallish ones)

1 carrot, finely diced

1 stick celery, finely diced

150 g yellow split peas

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1 litre light vegetable stock (hot)

15 g parsley, chopped (optional)

1/2 tsp celery salt

black pepper

Preheat the oven to fan 140 c.

Put the vegetables, split peas, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary into a large oven proof casserole dish. Add the stock, give it all a good stir and pop the lid on.

The huge amounts of onions are under there somewhere...

The huge amounts of onions are under there somewhere…

Place in the oven and cook for for 2 hours, until the split peas are very soft. Check the liquid levels after 1 hour, you may need to add a little water.

Stir through the parsley and celery salt, and season with black pepper to taste.

By E.


Split peas with buckwheat pancakes

It was another cold and rainy Sunday on the North West Coast of England, and after a day of painting ceilings and crawling round the garage (thank you Ellie for helping!)  I was in the mood for comfort foods, which I approached with very little plan, the pancakes were originally going to be a flatbread but I changed my mind partway through! These are sleepy flavours, I’d go as far to say sitting under a blanket with a hot water bottle flavours! Ooh now there’s a plan …

The complete dish

The complete dish

What do we need…

200g in total of a mix of carrot, celery, and onion.

150g yellow split peas

A stock cube

500ml boiling water

100g buckwheat flour

5g. Baking powder

1tsp caraway seeds

160ml cold water

Plain soya yogurt


Start off by chopping up the carrot, celery and onion finely and getting them in a medium pan with a spray of oil. I haven’t specified how much of each but for me it was half a carrot, half an onion and a stick of celery. They will take 5 to 10 minutes to turn translucent but not brown, as the picture below.

Translucent not burnt!

Translucent not burnt!

While they are cooking wash the split peas well, in a sieve, until the water coming off them is clear.

Add the split peas, boiling water and stock to the veg and bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 25 minutes until the split peas have softened but still have some chew to them.

Whilst the mixture is cooking, let’s make the pancake batter, it’s so simple, put the buckwheat flour, baking powder and caraway with a pinch of salt and mix together, pour in the cold water and whisk to make a thick batter.

Warm up a frying pan and spray with oil ( this only needs to be done once) pour tablespoon sized dollops of batter into the pan. Turn the pancakes over when the bubbles that form on the top have popped and the top looks firm.

The stages of pancake cooking

The stages of pancake cooking

To make the dressing, add some finely chopped coriander, and a pinch of salt to the soya yogurt, stir well, and leave it to sit for 10 minutes.

By now our split peas should be about done, the next step is completely optional but it does add to the comfort feeling! Take half of the lentil mixture out of the pan and blitz with a blender/food processor then stir it through the rest.

Half and half!

Half and half!

Plate up in a fancy fashion then use the pancakes to shovel up the split peas!

Soon to be an ex-pancake

Soon to be an ex-pancake, note grey paint on fingernail!

by A