Split pea soup is simple and nutritious—it makes the perfect meal on a chilly day.
Split peas are loaded with protein (10g/cup), fiber (5g/cup), and good complex carbs. They’re also a great source of essential minerals, including calcium and iron. The healthy fat in the olive oil rounds out this soup to make it a perfect, complete meal.
Not only is split pea soup healthy, warm, hearty, and delicious, it’s easy and cheap.
Split pea soup is incredibly inexpensive to make. You can feed an army with it for (most often) less than 10 bucks.
Now, I’ve got to be honest with you: there’s no such thing as a really pretty split pea soup recipe. Sure, I could style it out and edit the colors in the final photo, but then you’d be wondering why yours doesn’t look like the image on this post. It turns out mostly yellow-ish and not super pretty, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover—it’s absolutely delicious.
Split Pea Soup Recipe Variations
You’ll notice that I don’t use ham in this recipe. To make it completely vegan, simply use vegetable stock or water as your liquid base. I recommend using vegetable stock if you want to keep this vegan because it has the most flavor, but water works too if that’s all you have.
Even if you’re not vegan I encourage you to give it a try. I made this for a friend once who said, “Gosh, the ham hock really makes this!” to which I replied, “Um, this is vegan.” She had made the mistake that most people make—it’s not the ham hock, it’s the peas that you taste!
Higher Protein Option (not vegan):
If I have it on hand, I like to use long-simmered chicken stock (aka bone broth) to add even more protein to this soup. If you’re not vegan, consider using the chicken stock (has a little protein) or bone broth. It not only adds a TON of flavor, but it has up to nine grams of protein per serving! You can use homemade (the best recipe is here) or buy it in the quart boxes at the store.
How to Cook Split Pea Soup:
You can make this on the stovetop in a big pot or Dutch oven, or in a slow cooker if you prefer.
I like the stovetop method because sauteing the onions and carrots adds more flavor to this soup. However, if you need something crazy simple just throw it all in a slow cooker then blend it up once the split peas are soft.
This split pea soup recipe is the perfect meal on a chilly day; it’s healthy, warm, hearty, and delicious. It’s also inexpensive and super easy to make. I used to think that all the flavor in split pea soup came from the ham, but once I made it vegan, I didn’t even miss the meat.
3 cups of filtered water (or more stock if you happen to have it)
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
2 cups dried split peas, sorted, rinsed, and soaked for 2 hours
1 tablespoon sea salt, divided (more or less to taste depending on the stock you use)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
garnish: chopped chives if desired
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and 1 teaspoon sea salt and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and garlic and sauté another few minutes, until very fragrant.
Add the stock, water, granulated onion, remaining 2 teaspoons sea salt (use less if your stock has salt-taste as you go), pepper, and bay leaf to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rinsed and soaked split peas and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for at least 2 hours, until the peas are cooked through.
Once the peas are cooked through, remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. I blend about half and leave the other half whole for a chunky texture. Stir in a little more stock or water (about 1/3 cup at a time) if the texture is too thick or resembles baby food. The soup should have texture but not be too thick.
For a smoother texture, let the soup simmer for 4 to 5 hours and then blend until smooth in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix.
SLOW COOKER METHOD: Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours (or until the split peas are very soft—this may depend on your climate and slow cooker.) Blend according to the instructions above.
NOTE: This soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a sealed glass container, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Keywords: Split Pea Soup Recipe, Vegan Split Pea Soup