Purée of Yellow Split Peas

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


In Greece, fava usually refers to a puree such as this one, made of yellow (or sometimes green) split peas; it can also apply to a puree of the eponymous bean or other legumes.


  • 1 lb. yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 2 large red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or 3–4 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 12 cups extra-virgin olive oil, preferably from Kalamata
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves


Step 1

Put split peas, three-quarters of the onions, and 7 cups water into a heavy medium pot. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, skimming foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and peas have broken apart, 1–1 1⁄2 hours. Stir peas more frequently during last 15 minutes of cooking to prevent them from scorching. Season to taste with salt about 5 minutes before finished cooking.

Step 2

Remove pot from heat. Vigorously stir peas while gradually adding lemon juice and half of the oil. Cover pot with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to let purée cool (it will thicken as it as it cools), 3-4 hours.

Step 3

Stir purée again, season to taste with salt, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle parsley and remaining onions on top and drizzle with remaining oil. Serve with crusty bread and kalamata olives, if you like.

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