The Secret Ingredients Wolfgang Puck Uses To Balance Pea Soup

When it comes to the culinary artistry of split pea soup, there is one absolute truth: It's all about flavor development and Wolfgang Puck has the secret ingredients that will help to create a balance for your taste buds. Split pea soup's challenge is ensuring when it hits your tongue you experience the sweet, savory, and creamy goodness of this comfort food. Get it wrong and it can run the gamut of tasting bland or over-seasoned. According to MasterClass, the architect of California cuisine turns to honey and fresh lemon juice to solve this problem. 

Puck uses just a few drops of honey tempered by a little lemon juice to not only create the yin and yang flavor profile that makes split pea soup taste delicious from one spoonful to the next but also to layer and enhance the overall experience for your palate. The Austrian-born chef is conservative in his use of honey, keeping it to just a "touch" of this sweetener, which could be overwhelming if you are heavy-handed with this ingredient. This is why the addition of fresh lemon juice is equally important.

Go for the Goldilocks effect

Lemon juice in your split pea soup will balance the sweetness with its tangy and bright nature. Just a little bit of this citrus juice equalizer not only ensures the honey doesn't overwhelm your taste buds, but it keeps the savory elements in check too, combating any over-salting that can easily occur when making this soup. The addition of both the honey and the lemon juice produces an overall flavor that is both complex and well-rounded.

Honey and lemon juice also complement the other classic ingredients in your split pea soup. In addition to those split peas, the onions, carrots, garlic, fragrant herbs, and pieces of ham are going to benefit from these two ingredients, creating a cohesive flavor that doesn't skew too savory or too sweet, but instead gives you the Goldilocks' effect of being just right. So, the next time you are making this comfort soup, don't forget to reach for the honey and lemon.