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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!

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen
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!
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

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This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. I LOVE split pea soup, and also refuse to buy it at the store canned or jarred. It's not as good, and split peas are so ridiculously cheap. I have a huge bag in my cabinet right now! And I never put ham or bacon in it- I'm totally with you on this one! (Especially since I don't eat ham or bacon! haha)
  2. I've never made split pea soup before but definitely loving the look of this. Especially since I don't eat ham or bacon or meat at all. Haha! I don't know why I've never thought to make it but you have me wanting to try this soon! Pinning :)
  3. I'm not sure I'd bring meat into the house knowing I'd have to cook and clean. I rarely purchase soups in a can, they are FILLED with so much sodium my blood pressure rises just thinking of it. With or without the meat, this soup looks hearty and I can't wait to give it a try...maybe with a little bacon on top ;)
    1. Haha - thank you, Amy. I think soup should be meat-free too. With the right seasonings, soup doesn't need meat to make it taste good.
  4. Even if I am not vegetarian, I won't have trouble eating a bowlful (or two!!) of this thick and creamy-licious Split pea soup! Besides, you added turmeric which is a super food for me so this is certainly a winner in my book!
  5. I make pea soup both with and without meat - and without more often, really, just because I'm not going to wait until we eat a ham before making pea soup! And I use the yellow peas, too... pretty much the one foodway my grandmother picked up from the Norwegian side of her family. Turmeric is a new one for me, though. It certainly brightens the color - now I"m curious to see what it will do for the flavor!
  6. Dried beans and lentils are so affordable to buy and I hate the canned soups. The soups looks so creamy and comforting that I want to ease into my couch with a bowl. I have never added potatoes in my soup. I should try to add them to make it extra creamy and filling.
  7. Oh I love the look of this soup Byron, with or without meat! I have all the ingredients in at the mo so once I've finished my latest soup (spinach and parsnip) I will definitely give this a try :D
  8. Challenge: Accepted. I'm going to try your version and see if I love it as much as the one that includes bacon. I'm certain that it's a contender, based on the pics and the recipe! As always - you're challenging my thinking.
    1. Thank you! I consider that a huge compliment coming from you. :) I'm thinking about making your banana cheesecake this weekend. Looks scrumptious!
  9. Ha, I love the fear that you'll have to wash your own dishes if you cook with bacon! I will admit that split pea soup is one of the rare things I've always assumed I won't like, but haven't actually tried in YEARS. I think some of my anti-split pea soup stance is because I was a vegetarian for 15 years and I always saw it made with ham. Time to give it a try!
    1. I loathe washing dishes - I really do! You gotta try this soup - John.e has been a vegetarian for about 25 years now and he swears it's the best soup he's ever had!
  10. SUPER YUMMY! I did add some "facon" (fake bacon ) to the onion/carrot/celery mixture in the beginning and iI used 4 cups of vegan "chicken" broth. Came out delicious. Thank you
    1. Thank you, Linda. I'm in the process of nearly perfecting a make-at-home fake bacon recipe, so I can't wait to get it exactly right and try it in my recipes and this soup too, of course!
  11. I made this on Thanksgiving. It was excellent. I used 4c water and 4c of homemade vegetable broth as I am highly sensitive to msg or yeast extracts hidden in most packaged broths. It was insanely delicious. Everyone at our dinner commented on how good it was, even the meat eaters who before trying it were wary of fact it was bacon free! It's definitely a keeper recipe.
  12. I have this simmering on the stove right now! We're suppose to get a snow storm tomorrow so it will be perfect for a winter night! I used green split peas instead of yellow and sweet potatoes instead of white. Can't wait to taste it!
    1. Thank you, Amy. I'm so jealous of your snow storm! I'm one of those weird people that love winter. :)
  13. Love split pea soup and this version sounds amazing, however, I don't have potatoes and was wondering about a substitute, I have a head of cauliflower? Would that work?
    1. I don't think cauliflower would work well at all. It's not starchy enough to thicken the soup and the cooking time would need to be adjusted greatly.
  14. Hello from Scotland! I've made you soul a few times now and can say it's a excellent and tasty recipe! Thank you
  15. Looks amazing...I love pea soup and can't wait to try this (though I may split it in half and put ham in half after it's done to please both the meat and non-meat eaters in the house)!! Quick question though...you do not mention pre-soaking the peas at all yet the printable page says it takes two days to make which suggests soaking. Can you clarify please? Thanks
    1. Hi Stephanie, thank you for bringing that to my attention. Just recently, I updated the recipe cards and some of the information was skewed in the transition. I've updated the recipe card accordingly. There is no need to soak the split peas overnight. Just add them to the post as is. :)

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