Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
This vegetarian split pea soup recipe is almost entirely hands-off—and 100% delicious. Cozy and comforting, split pea soup is a great source of protein, fiber and satisfaction.

Updated: Jun. 13, 2024

Split pea soup is one of those treats you might only order at restaurants or get from a can, thinking it’s too much work to make yourself at home. Let’s end that thought right now with this vegetarian split pea soup recipe, because not only is it a relatively easy soup to make, but it will come out tasting better than any version you’ll get dining out (or from that can).

Granted, this split pea soup takes a while to make, but almost all that time is hands-off simmering. So plan ahead, do a bit of chopping and measuring, then get to making one of the tastiest, most comforting soups you’ve ever enjoyed. It’s perfect for dinner on a chilly evening, but also just as welcome at lunch on a sunny summer day. There’s never a bad time for a great soup.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

  • Vegetable broth: Choose a flavorful broth or make your own. And if you’re not concerned about this being a vegetarian split pea soup, of course you can use chicken broth.
  • Green split peas: You want a generous 2 cups of dried green split peas, and make sure they’re well rinsed.
  • Onion: You can use a white or yellow onion, just make sure it’s well chopped.
  • Carrots: This recipe calls for a cup of chopped carrots, and the more evenly chopped they are, the better.
  • Celery ribs: Unlike you’d find in most recipes, for this soup, go ahead and leave the leaves on the celery ribs as you chop them up.
  • Garlic: Mince those fresh garlic cloves well, especially if you won’t be fully blending the soup (more on that later).
  • Marjoram: While not the most common of spices, marjoram may become a new favorite for you. It’s vaguely sweet, a bit woody and piney, and slightly bitter too.
  • Basil: Basil, we’re sure, you already know and love, and you’ll love it in this split pea soup too.
  • Cumin: A powerful spice, a little cumin goes a long way, so measure carefully.
  • Shredded carrots and sliced green onions: These are optional but welcome toppers that add color, flavor and some crunch to the finished soup.

Directions

Step 1: Combine the ingredients and simmer

In a large sauce pan, combine the broth, split peas, veggies, garlic and spices (except for the salt and pepper), and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan, letting it cook slowly for an hour, stirring every few minutes.

Step 2: Add salt and pepper, and blend

Add the salt and pepper, stirring, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove soup from the heat, and working in batches, blend it until it’s a puree. Return it to the pan to heat through. Serve the soup garnished with shredded carrots and sliced green onions, if desired.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Variations

  • Don’t blend it into a puree: While split pea soup is traditionally a puree, this soup can be quite tasty if you only partially blend it. The texture of the well-cooked but intact veggies makes it more of a split pea stew, which some people prefer to the classic approach.
  • Use lentils instead of split peas: If you don’t have (or don’t care for) split peas, you can follow this exact recipe using lentils. The result will have a different but delightful flavor profile, and it will be protein-rich too.
  • Use chicken broth: If you’re not concerned about making a vegetarian split pea soup, chicken broth can lend a pleasing salty, savory flavor to this recipe, so go ahead and use it.

How to Store Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

You can store this vegetarian split pea soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. It can be reheated in the microwave, but the best method is to slowly warm it in a saucepan on the stove, adding a bit of broth if it has thickened too much for your liking.

Can you freeze vegetarian split pea soup?

By all means! Split pea soup takes to freezing remarkably well, and it can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. To reheat it, it’s best to allow for an overnight thaw in the fridge, then warm it in a sauce pan, but you can warm it in a pan directly from frozen. Add a bit of broth to the pan to speed up the process, and cover the pan to prevent splatters.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Tips

Do split peas need to be soaked?

You do not need to soak the split peas for this recipe, as they will simmer in the broth for plenty of time. Just make sure they get a good rinsing though.

Is split pea soup healthy?

Yes, it’s very healthy, especially if you use a low-sodium broth. This split pea soup is rich in protein, fiber and many vitamins and minerals.

Are split peas and green peas the same thing?

Yes, split peas and green peas are the same vegetable (or legume, technically), just in different stages. Split peas are more “mature,” as it were, having been aged and dried out. They are split simply to speed up the cooking process and help ensure the peas cook more evenly.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 7 servings.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: Shredded carrots and sliced green onions

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the first 9 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes longer. Remove soup from heat; cool slightly. Process in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth; return to pan and heat through. If desired, garnish with carrots and green onions.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 227 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 771mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 15g fiber), 14g protein.

Even the pickiest eater will request this vegetarian split pea soup recipe time and again. Thick and well-seasoned, it's a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber and protein. It's wonderful with a slice of crusty French bread. —Michele Doucette, Stephenville, Newfoundland