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Pease Glorious Pease

Split Pea Hummus (aka Pease Pâté)

Split pea hummus

This is certainly not your usual hummus.

Apart from the fact that it uses yellow split peas in place of chickpeas, it forsakes tahini, olive oil and lemon juice in favour of fried onions, vegemite [1], mustard and sherry vinegar, with a more savoury end result.

If you’re not given to using vegemite (or similar pastes made from yeast extract, such as marmite [2]), then go easy at first. They’re wonderfully savoury but are somewhat of an acquired taste and a little does goes a long way. If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) vegemite or similar here, you could probably try substituting some dark soy sauce for a different kind of savoury taste.

You’ll need:

  • 225g yellow split peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt
  • 2 medium-sized onions (about 350g), finely sliced
  • 2 tsp vegemite or marmite or to taste
  • 1.5 tsp dijon mustard or to taste
  • 2.5 tsp sherry vinegar or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

You’ll also need:

  • A food processor for blending everything together, though you can mash everything together by hand if you need to.

The Steps:

  • Rinse the yellow split peas in several changes of water, then soak for 8-10 hours or overnight. Drain when ready to use.
  • Place a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add about a tblsp of olive oil and swirl around the pan. Add the chopped garlic and stir and fry for about a minute.
  • Add the split peas, a tsp of salt and about 1 litre of water to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, then cover, lower the heat and simmer until tender – should take around an hour or so.
  • Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add about 2 tblsp olive oil. Add the sliced onions and a pinch or two of salt. Fry the onions, stirring periodically, until well browned, about 35-45 minutes.
  • When the split peas have finished cooking, drain them but reserve the cooking liquid. Add the split peas to your food processor along with most of the browned onions (reserving a few for garnish). Blend together well along with about 3 tblsp of the cooking liquid or more if you prefer a looser consistency (you can keep the rest of the liquid to use as a vegetable stock). If you don’t have a food processor, just mash the split peas using a fork, chop the browned onions very finely and mix in a bowl with the cooking liquid.
  • Now mix in the vegemite (or marmite), mustard and sherry vinegar. I’d suggest starting with about a tsp of each and add more to taste, along with a few twists of black pepper and salt if it needs it.
  • Garnish with the reserved onions and eat as a dip or spread onto bread as part of a cheddar cheese sandwich. I rather fancy that it would also go well with ham or even saveloys.

The Variations:

  • You could make something closer to traditional hummus by adding lemon juice and olive oil to your split peas instead of the vegemite, mustard and vinegar.

The Results:

  • About 600g of split pea “hummus”