Central Europeans love legumes and created many flavorful dishes using them, partly because legumes were inexpensive and more readily available during the hungry times of war years but also because they recognized their high nutritive values. Here is an example from Germany.

  • Yields: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hour
  • Active: 20 minutes

Ingredients (13)

  • 8 oz (225 g or 1¼ c) yellow or green split peas, rinsed
  • 18 oz (530 ml) water
  • 6 oz (170 g or one medium) onion, peeled, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, sliced
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced
  • 1 tsp dry mint, crushed
  • 1 tsp dry marjoram, crushed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp butter or bacon drippings
  • 6 oz (170 g or one medium) onion, peeled, sliced


  1. Cook split peas in a medium-sized cooking pot (preferable oven-proof to avoid using another pot in broiling) with water, slices of first onion, vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper over low simmer until peas and vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. Purée in blender or food processor with vinegar, then return to the cooking pot and reheat.
  3. Brown slices of second onion in butter or bacon drippings over medium heat until soft. Spoon over top of the purée and place it two or three finger-widths under a broiler. Let onion brown and turn crispy and serve.