Oh, Split Pea Soup! How I adore thee! The fact that you’re a Vegetarian Split Pea Soup is even better, because I can finally put to rest the notion that Split Pea Soup isn’t Split Pea Soup at all without bacon or ham. To you, dear ham and/or bacon lover, I say, whatever! This vegetarian version of your beloved split pea soup will have you thinking otherwise; trust me!
Before you start sending me hate mail, rest assured that I would never turn down ham or bacon – never! But, when making a pot of soup in our home, nary a meat product must come in contact with it for fear that the two vegetarians I live with might hatch a vicious plan to convert me to vegetarianism. Or worse, refuse to wash the dishes! (Yep, I cook; they clean!)
Whenever I think of Split Pea Soup, my mom’s soup comes to mind. She, mind you, used to make it with ham and there would always be dumplings floating in the pot. I was never a fan of dumplings in any shape or form, but her soup was mightily delicious.
Four years ago, before I began to adapt to cooking vegetarian dishes at home, John.e would get his Split Pea Soup fix from a jar at the grocery store. I would watch him crack open the lid and spoon the stuff into a sauce pan in gelatinous lumps. Why does cold Split Pea Soup do that? Anyway, I made it my mission to prevent him from spending $8 on a jar of soup when, clearly, I could make a huge pot of it for about the same price.
You see, Dear Reader, this recipe has very cheap ingredients, but the flavour is rich beyond price. Does that sound corny? Well, I can’t find the words to describe how delicious this soup really tastes. I guess you’ll have to just take my word for it and try it for yourself.
Look at those pictures though! Can you believe that’s the result of a few carrots, some celery, potatoes, onions, and dried yellow split peas? I almost can’t believe it either. But, as you can see from the ingredient list below, pictures don’t lie. Now, get cooking!
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup celery, finely chopped
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 2 cups dried yellow split peas
- 3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 cups water
- 3 whole bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
In a stock pot, over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, carrot, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Add the split peas and turmeric, stir into the vegetable mixture, and sauté for 3 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock and water, along with the salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the split peas from settling to the bottom of the pot.
Add the potatoes and stir to combine. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
Stir the soup and check the liquid level. At this point, the potatoes should be starting to soften, and the peas should be nearly dissolved. Add one cup of water if the peas are not nearly dissolved.
Cover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness again. Add another cup of water if needed. If not, cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the lid and turn off the heat. Stir the soup well, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.