Thursday, October 13, 2011

Easy-Peasy Vegan Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is easy to make, satisfying, and ridiculously inexpensive. And it certainly doesn't have to contain ham or bacon. This vegan version is made with dried green split peas, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and vegetable stock, and is flavored with bay leaf, fresh thyme and parsley.

All of the ingredients in this soup are inexpensive. I estimate that the total cost of ingredients I used in this soup was around $7.25, which made four servings for my very hungry fiance and me. That means that this meal cost about $1.81 per serving! I used organic vegetable broth from a carton to make this soup, but you could easily save a few dollars by using homemade vegetable stock.

Easy-Peasy Vegan Split Pea Soup (makes 4 meal-sized servings):

What You Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups dried split peas, rinsed, pebbles and whatnot removed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 russet potato, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (give or take, depending on how thick you like your soup)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • big handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
How to Make It:
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and celery and cook until the onion is translucent, 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, potato, peas, vegetable broth, bay leaves, and the leaves from the sprigs of thyme. Stir. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender and falling apart and the vegetables are soft - about one hour. If the soup seems to thick, add more broth or a little water. Season with salt and pepper to taste as the soup cooks.
  3. When the soup is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the fresh parsley and lemon juice, if you are using it. Remove the bay leaves from the soup before serving. Enjoy!

The ingredients in this soup cost less than $2.00 per serving, but they bring a lot to the table (so to speak) from a nutrition standpoint. Split peas are about $1.00 per pound, and just one cup of cooked split peas offers an impressive 65% of the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber. Each bowl of soup contains about one whole carrot, which provides 157% of the vitamin A you need for the day. And although parsley is usually thought of only as a garnish or a flavoring, it contains significant amounts of vitamins A and C, and just one tablespoon of this leafy herb offers 77% of the RDA for vitamin K.

This healthy, delicious, affordable soup will likely remain in my repertoire through the fall and winter. Next time, I might try adding some of that tasty Field Roast smoked vegan sausage!


  1. Wow! This is delicious! I love the chunky richness of this soup! I didn't have any broth on hand (and not enough veggies to make stock so I used good bouillon cubes. I was nervous that it would leave the soup flat but it came out really nice and flavorful! I didn't have any fresh thyme so I added about 2 tsp of dried. I also put the bay leaves into a mesh tea ball so that I wouldn't have to find them in the soup (for some reason mine are in smaller pieces and hard to find in the pot). As it is so good with all of my shortcuts I can't wait to try this recipe again some time when I have good stock and fresh thyme!
    Thank you for this healthy and easy soup!

  2. Mmmm this is so good. I eat this once a week or so. It really is cheap and good for you. I had never had split pea soup before I went vegan and it's become one of my favorites. I think I like it even more than lentil soup.
    Could you make this with the other color split peas? Would that change the flavor any?