Do Red Split Peas Exist?

updated May 1, 2019
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Q: Is there such a thing as a red split pea, and does it look like a red split lentil? I have always used red split lentils to make soup, but recently my soup had a burnt-orange color (although the soup was not burnt).

Sent by Margaret

Editor: I can’t say I’ve ever come across red split peas. Yellow split peas do exist and are often used to prepare delicious soups and dals. Yellow split peas maintain a mellow yellow-brown once cooked.

Red split lentils can range from a deep orange all the way to a pale pink, and maintain a saturated yellow-orange color during cooking. That color is only heightened by the presence of ingredients like turmeric or curry. If your soup leans toward orange, I’d suspect you’re still cooking with red split lentils, but just have particularly vibrant lentils on hand.

More Red Lentil Inspiration from The Kitchn