Uncle Bill's Indian Split Pea Soup

"I developed this recipe after spending 2 months holidaying in Fiji. Their Indian soups were just tremendous but I could not get them to tell me the ingredients."
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Ready In:
3hrs 55mins




  • In a large cooking pot, add 10 cups of water and bring to boil.
  • Add ham bone, bay leaves, peppercorns, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, celery including leaves, green and yellow split peas and red lentils.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
  • Remove from heat and let completely cool until fat gels on the top.
  • Carefully skim all fat and discard.
  • Remove ham bone and large ham pieces that fall off the bone and set aside.
  • Leave small pieces of ham in cooking pot.
  • Remove sack of cloves and cinnamon stick and discard.
  • In a frying pan, heat olive oil.
  • Add onion and garlic and saute' until onions are translucent.
  • Transfer cooked onions to cooking pot.
  • Add 8 cups of water, curry powder, turmeric, ground cumin, red hot pepper flakes, salt, carrots, and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1/2 hour.
  • Puree' soup in batches in a food processor or blender and return to cooking pot.
  • Chop ham pieces into bite size pieces and add to cooking pot.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Bring soup back to boil.
  • If you prefer a spicier soup, add more red hot pepper flakes or some cayenne pepper.
  • Serve soup hot.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This wasn't what we were expecting, texture-wise, but the flavor is wonderful. The peas and lentils completely disintegrated during their three-hour boil, so we found this recipe to be a complex, richly-flavored broth rather than the thick pea soup we anticipated. To make it thicker, we added cubed potatoes and cubed ham at the same time we added the sauteed onions. We also served it with a sprinkling of scallions. Because we didn't have cheesecloth, we put the spices in a large tea ball, and that worked great.
  2. I fixed this in the crockpot today. Since I did not have cheesecloth, I took a paper coffee filter and put the spices in that and tied it up with some strong quilters thread. Worked great!!! As I was retrieving the bones out of the pot the aroma of the first spices smelled so good. I could not resist and had to try some of the meat. It has a nice flavor at this point. There was not much evaporation using the crockpot, so I only add enough water to bring it back up to 10-12 cups. Very good soup I loved all the flavors. If you let the soup cool some before you eat it you can taste even more of the flavors. Thank you William for a great recipe.


I live in Burnaby, British Columbia. I am retired and have written a cookbook entitled, From Uncle Bill's Kitchen. I am a recipe developer, author, publisher, distributor and a chef. My cookbook is very unique as I have a Nutrient Analysis for each ingredient used in each recipe that shows you the values for Calories, Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. A high-lighted bar shows the values on a per serving basis plus the Fat/Cal%. From Uncle Bill's Kitchen contains tried-and-true, tested, easy to follow reipes for both novice and experienced cooks. You'll find old Russian, Ukrainian, and other ethnic favorites, along with modern West Coast dishes. The Nutrient Analysis will please the health conscious. Uncle Bill's favorite recipes will reward efforts of the most creative cook and provide the family with many tantalizing, healthful meals. I have appeared on 48 various Television Shows in Vancouver, Burnaby, Kelowna and Kamploops, B.C. Canada, as well as in Palm Springs, CA. In Palm Springs, CA, I have been a Guest on the JACKIE OLDEN RADIO SHOW and THE JOEY ENGLISH RADIO SHOW, twice a year since 1998. I also do demo cooking shows at CHAPTERS BOOK STORES, SAVE-ON-FOOD STORES, GALLOWAY'S FOODS, WESTMINSTER PUBLIC QUAY MARKET, and in the U.S. at BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSTORES in Palm Springs, CA, Phoenix and Yuma, AZ. I was in Palm Springs, CA from June 10th to July 14th. 2002 and again appeared twice on the Jackie Olden Show, twice on the Joey English Show and pre-taped a TV COOKING SHOW with Jackie Olden that is aired on TV from Palm Springs, CA to Los Angeles, CA.
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