About this recipe:This is comfort food at its best – and great value too. Thick, chunky and robustly flavoured, serve steaming bowlfuls when it's icy outside and you need to keep chills at bay.
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and thinly sliced crossways
125g split peas
1 litre vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 tsp dried sage
50g small pasta shapes (such as macaroni)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g Parmesan, grated
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:45min › Ready in:1hr5min
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook gently for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently until the onion is golden. Add the carrots to the pan and continue to cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently until just beginning to soften slightly.
Stir in the split peas, stock, tomato purée, sage, and seasoning and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook for a further 15 minutes, until the pasta and split peas are tender. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
*A little smoked bacon is good in this soup – gently cook 1 chopped, rindless rasher with the onions or you could add some chunks of cooked ham to the finished soup to make a main meal. Using ham stock will add extra flavour. *This soup can be made ahead. Prepare the soup to the end of step 2, then cool and chill. Reheat to a simmer before adding the pasta.