Vegetarian Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe

Bowl of split pea soup
Meike Bergmann/Stockbyte/Getty Images
    55 mins
Ratings

Peas are one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans, having been eaten in some form as early as 9000 BC. Split pea soup has been traced back to Greco-Roman societies and a popular nursery rhyme, "pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold" celebrates the versatility of the dish. This recipe is made from dried yellow peas that have been peeled and split. This vegetarian hot soup recipe is perfect for cold days, lean budgets, or anyone looking for a heartily healthy vegan dish for lunch or dinner. 

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

This recipe is suitable for dairy-free, egg free, and vegan diets, but as with any recipe intended for persons with allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to read all nutritional labels carefully to make sure that there are no hidden dairy-derived ingredients (or other allergens, if these apply to you).

Feel free to add other vegetables or spices to your taste; I've occasionally added chopped potatoes, or pieces of vegetarian meat substitutes to add other flavors and textures. I like to add red pepper and a bit of cumin to my soup for a bit of spice, but feel free to omit these for a more traditional pea soup. Two or three sprigs of aromatic fresh herbs such as rosemary, marjoram,  thyme, and parsley are great additions to give the soup a unique flavor.

What You'll Need

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water, plus more if needed
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

How to Make It

  1. Place the broth, water, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the dried split peas, turn down the heat, and simmer for 35-35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the peas are very soft. Add the salt, cumin, red pepper, and black pepper.
  2. Using a potato masher or the back of a metal spoon, mash the peas for about 3-5 minutes, or until the soup is creamy, adding more water as necessary. (Alternatively, you can choose to puree a little more than half of the soup in a blender and then mix it with the un-pureed portion.) Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with bread or rice.