The best vegan split pea soup recipe i’ve ever made. High in protein, easy, delicious, healthy, whole food plant based no oil, gluten-free, dairy-free and good for you. No meat, no ham bone, no ham-hock ever, pure vegetarian goodness!
Vegan Split Pea Soup
Hearty, filling and loaded with smoky layers from my favorite Spanish smoked paprika, you can count on this simple peasant soup to deliver in both flavor and texture like a boss. History shows that the tradition of eating hot split pea soup goes all the way back to 500 BC when it was sold in the streets of Athens Greece as the “poor man’s food”.
- Yellow Split Peas: or field peas that have been dried, peeled and split in half for cooking. Unless your peas are kind of old there is really no need to pre soak them. If you aren’t sure I’d suggest soaking for a couple of hours in hot water. Of course you could also use the green split peas if yellows aren’t available, they are both very high in protein and so delicious!
- The Aromatics: leeks, garlic, carrot and celery is what gives the soup that rich base layer of flavor. Cook them slow until they start to soften and get some color.
- Herbs: I’m a big fan of adding fresh herbs to soups and stews being partial to thyme, bay and marjoram when available. You can add a few sprigs of fresh oregano instead or incorporate any fresh herbs you already have and love.
- Smoked Paprika: this is the spice that gives the soup its pleasant smoky layer but it’s important not to overdo it. You could adjust the smokiness with more paprika , a pinch of smoked sea salt or liquid smoke. No ham bone needed, totally cruelty-free!
- Veggie Stock or Water: when making one pot soups from scratch with lots of aromatics and herbs it really isn’t necessary to use stock. The water becomes the stock full of flavor, of course you can use whatever you like here.
You want to serve this soup steaming hot, as hot as you can handle without betraying your tongue. Although a very nutritions meal on its own rich in fiber and protein, a good sprinkling of hemp hearts really boosts the protein and nutritional profile even more. A piece of homemade crusty bread is recommended to wipe those soup bowls sparkling clean.
The soup can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days and freezes well up to 6 months. Always thaw out in the refrigerator before reheating and add more liquid as needed.
The Creamy Texture
I gave this soup a rustic but creamy texture, only partially pureed but not so thick that you can stick a fork in it. Balance the textures to your liking with more cashew or hemp milk or puree into a silky smooth soup in the blender if you prefer.
Soup Topping Ideas
Load up with all your favorite things. Cooked barley, spinach rice, lemon zest, a dash of smoked paprika, toasted nuts, fresh chives or scallions, crispy kale chips, smoky tempeh.
Hearty Vegan Soups
- Peanut Stew with Soy Curls
- White Bean Soup
- Miso Chickpea Stew
- Red Lentil Spinach Stew
- Potato Leek Soup
- Sweet Potato Lentil Stew.
Vegan Split Pea Soup Recipe
- 2 cups yellow split peas -rinsed well
- 1 leeks
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 carrot - diced
- 2 ribs celery - chopped
- 8 cups water or low sodium vegetable stock
- 1.5 cups warm hemp or cashew milk ( or your favorite plant milk)
- 2 leaves bay
- 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
- 6 sprigs fresh marjoram
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 pinch sea salt + mor eto taste
- 1/4 cup fresh chives - chopped
- 6 tbsp hemp hearts for serving - optional
- 1 lime - sliced ( for serving)
- 1 drizzle water or olive oil
- For best results start by soaking the split peas in hot water for a couple of hours. This will ensure that the split peas will end up with a buttery texture, especially of they might be a little older.
- Slice the leek and lengthwise and chop it up. Transfer to a colander and rinse well under cold running water.
- Heat a heavy bottom dutch oven on medium low flame. Add the leeks together with a pinch of sea salt and a splash of water or drizzle of olive oil (omit the oil for WFPB & Plantricious diets). Add the carrots and celery and sautee for about 10 minutes until softened and it starts to get some color.
- Stir in the garlic, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes then add the yellow split peas, bay leaves, marjoram and thyme. Pour in the water or vegetable stock and bring to a rapid simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 50 minutes or until the peas have softened to your liking. (If you are working with older split peas you might want to presoak them for a couple of hours to achieve a buttery texture).
- Remove the soup from flame and discard the bay leaves, marjoram and thyme sprigs.
- Pour in the plant milk and using a hand held immersion blender puree about half of the soup or smoother to your liking. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste with more sea salt. Alternatively use a powerful blender to achieve a silky pureed textured instead.
- Serve hot with a squeeze of lime, garnished with the chives and hemp seeds.
- You don't need to soak the split peas unless of course they are old and tough. The grocery store variety I purchase in bulk cooks great in less than 1 hour. However to be on the safe side you can presoak them for a couple of hours in hot water or cook the soup an extra 30 minutes or so until desired texture is achieved.
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