This vegan split pea soup recipe is a family favorite. My daughters begged me to make it when they were little.
The delicious thick broth and perfect spice combination have a lot of flavor and will win your family over to this healthy dinner, too.
We first had a version of this delicious split pea soup at California Pizza Kitchen when my daughters were little. My younger daughter asked for a bite, and that was all she wrote.
From that point on, we would never go to California Pizza Kitchen without ordering this soup.
Serving this is a great way to get your kids to eat something healthy. They won't know it's good for them unless you tell them!
Traditional split pea soup is typically made with ham. This recipe has no meat.
I've also switched out the chicken stock from the original recipe from California Pizza Kitchen to vegetable broth. I think you'll like this vegan version of this tasty soup!
They are both so flavorful, both are vegan, and both are true comfort food.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's so easy! I can prepare the veggies for this vegan split pea soup recipe in a couple of minutes. I put the onion in the food processor and chop the carrots and celery. Everything goes in except the veggies and barley and cooks for a little over an hour.
- Split peas are rich in fiber, and there is not a thing in this soup that is not good for you!
- We love comfort food, and this rich and robust soup is just the ticket for a delicious and nourishing meal. Add a loaf of crusty bread and you're set.
- It's so inexpensive to make!
What Goes Into This Split Pea Soup
Green split peas - rich in fiber and protein, this delicious cousin of beans and lentils make a rich hearty soup. You can use yellow split peas for a more earthy, smoky flavor.
Barley - though this soup doesn't have a huge amount of barley, it's just enough to add wonderful flavor and texture.
Mirepoix - say what? Celery, onion, and carrots are considered the holy trinity of French cooking. Though most of the time they are sauteed in butter, we are adding them later to retain a little of the texture and leaving out the fat that isn't needed in this soup.
How to Make this Soup
Rinse and drain peas, picking through for bits of debris.
Add peas to a large pot with water, broth, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, parsley, white pepper, and thyme.
Bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce to medium and cook 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse barley and cook according to directions on package.
Once soup has thickened, remove ¼ of soup and set aside.
Carefully blend the soup in pot using a hand blender until pureed.
Drain barley and add to soup.
Return the ¼ of soup to the pot and add carrots and celery.
Let soup simmer for about 15 minutes until carrots are slightly soft but still somewhat crisp.
Turn off heat, cover, and let soup sit for 15 minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley or spring onions if desired.
We like to serve this comforting soup with a crunchy loaf of bread.
As the soup thickens you will want to stir more often.
Pureeing a portion of the soup will make it more like a stew.
When reheating split pea soup, you may want to add a little water if it's too thick.
Use fresh thyme instead of dried for a boost of flavor. Sprinkle a little extra on top for a pretty presentation.
Spice up this split pea soup by adding a large pinch of ground cumin.
Add in nutritional yeast for a cheesy or nutty boost of flavor.
Add more veggies like sweet potato or butternut squash to change up the flavor.
You can easily make this soup in a slow cooker so you can have it ready when you walk in the door. Simply add all ingredients to slow cooker. Carefully run the immersion blender through the soup a few times to thicken it up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Not only is this a low calorie soup, but split peas are full of proteins that have been said to offset hunger. They also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol.
No. People lump split peas together with beans as they are both often purchased dried, but split peas do not need soaking.
If you've cooked your split pea soup for an adequate amount of time and your peas are still not soft, it could be that your peas were old. People often think dried peas last forever, but they really should be used within 2-3 years. Always keep peas in an airtight container.
More of Our Favorite Soups
Vegan Split Pea Soup
- 2 cups split peas dried
- 5 cups water
- 32 ounces vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup onion minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice fresh
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon parsley dried or fresh ½ teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon thyme dried or fresh ¼ teaspoon
- ½ cup barley
- 1 cup carrots diced
- ¼ cup celery diced
- Rinse and drain peas and add to pot with water, broth, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, parsley, white pepper, and thyme.
- Bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce to medium and cook 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Rinse barley and cook according to directions on package.
- Once soup has thickened, remove ¼ of soup and set aside.
- Carefully blend the soup in pot using a hand blender until pureed.
- Drain barley and add to soup.
- Return the ¼ of soup to the pot and add carrots and celery.
- Simmer soup for about 15 minutes until carrots are slightly soft but still somewhat crisp.
- Turn off heat, cover, and let soup sit for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley or spring onions if desired.