Smoky Vegan Split Pea Soup

Still coming off cloud nine from yesterday’s excitement. Thanks for all the love! Here’s a little love gesture back, to mirror how I’m feeling today, a humble and grateful soup. People fall into two camps when it comes to the humble split pea soup. They either love it or hate it.

I’m in the first camp. My key to making an excellent split pea soup just last year was to simmer it with a ham bone.  Since that kind of thing obviously doesn’t go down in my kitchen anymore, I had to figure out a new way to get that smoky flavor…

Smoky Vegan Split Pea Soup

  •  1 diced red onion
  • 4 diced carrots
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large russet or red potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 8 C. vegetable stock
  • 1 T. liquid smoke (yes it’s vegan and an entirely natural product)
  • 16 oz (1 bag) dried split peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • dash of cayenne

Method: Water saute the onion, carrots, garlic and potato and thyme in large saucepan with 1/2 C. water until the onion is translucent. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Then simmer over low heat with the lid on for 30-40 minutes, until peas are very tender. Remove bay leaves. Serve as is, blend until smooth or pulse a few times with a stick blender (my favorite method) for a slightly thickened but still chunky soup. This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Note: split pea soup is always much thicker the next day, those peas just keep expanding!

Which camp are you in?
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Filed under Forks Over Knives, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Soups and Stews, Ulcerative Colitis, Vegan

70 responses to “Smoky Vegan Split Pea Soup

  1. I am going to make this for sure….I’m in the pea soup camp!

  2. Ha! I almost bought some liquid smoke the other day too! Looks good. :)

  3. Another vote for split peas. Amazing photos yesterday!

  4. I LOVE split pea soup! I’ve never used liquid smoke but I should try it. I use smoked paprika for that vegan-ham flavor. :)

    • Awesome! Glad you love it too, I use smoked paprika in other things, but I have to admit I think liquid smoke works better in this particular recipe. I add it to a lot of the bean soups I make. :)

  5. I love different legumes, but split peas? Not sure, maybe b/c I hated them when I was growing up!!!!

  6. Oooooh, I don’t know because I’ve never tried it but I really want to now that I’ve seen this pic! It looks and sounds delicious.

  7. ok, so i haven’t had time to make the pretzel buns yet, so this weekend gonna make them and this lovely soup to go with it! looks tasty gorgeous!

  8. Hehe, I’ve got a split pea soup coming up – ’tis the season! Definitely in the split pea soup camp.

  9. I love split pea soup – but have never actually made it – and I don’t know why. Yours looks amazing. Split pea soup always reminds me of lunches with my dad – and that is comfort food. I’ll give your recipe a try this fall, for sure. Bookmarked and pinned.

    • Heidi! It’s such an easy and quick dinner, you can even have it ready when you get home from Hockey in the slow cooker. Best kind of comfort food is the one that comes with memories. ;) Thanks!

  10. I want to be in the love it camp, I really do! I think I have to be in the mood for soup – once I feel like making it, I usually enjoy it :) Beautiful food photography.

  11. yay! going to try it, not sure i’ll be able to get liquid smoke though…will try online for companies that deliver to the far north of the UK!

  12. I’m definitely in camp LOVE when it comes to split pea! This sounds fabulous!

  13. What a beautifully simple soup! Another way I like to add a little smokey flavor to my dishes is with a bit of smoked paprika.

  14. Liquid smoke – brilliant. I’ll try that in my crock pintos too.

    Split pea soup is great comfort food! Creamy (I use a potato masher to smooth it into a slight chunkier version), warm, satisfying. Cayenne is a great addition for flavor lacking ham or meat (I usually drop some Thai chili/garlic paste into my own bowl for an extra kick), and I’m partial to a bit of fresh dillweed as well.

    I’m one up on ya. Had some for dinner last night. Leftover. I’m in the “love it” camp for sure! :)

    • Yes! 5 for love camp! You are totally one up on me and those are great suggestions for the soup. I love to add a spicy kick to nearly anything, (even cookies, as you saw) ;) Totally warming up leftovers for lunch today!

  15. Joyce

    I love split pea soup. Have not had it for years (since I was a child) and, of course, it was made with ham, can’t wait to try this one.

  16. mmm, sounds like a big hug in a bowl – love the idea of adding the liquid smoke (have to seek some of that out ;-)) xoxo

  17. Split pea soup is one of the first things I learned how to make when I became vegetarian in my teens. I’d always have a pot of it cooking on the stove, which drove my mother to distraction! It’s still one of my favourite soups, but I’ve never tried making it with liquid smoke. I’ll have to give it a go!

    • I think you’ll really like the liquid smoke addition. Makes it taste like it was cooked over a campfire. YUM! I love that back history on your cooking as a teen. I drove my mom to distraction too I’m sure!

  18. Fabulous post and thoughts on food and diet.

  19. Shira

    I would eat pea soup any day of the week but sadly my family would have to find other sustenance as they wouldn’t touch it!! Looks yummy Somer!

    • I’ll tell you a secret. My family doesn’t love it either, which is why I have freeze a bunch every time I make it, so I can eat all the leftovers all by my awesome self! :)

  20. I love pea soup but my wife doesn’t, so I haven’t made it for years.
    For some reason, I’m not crazy about liquid smoke; it has a strange smell to me coming out of the bottle that I dislike.

    Whenever I make something I want to be smokey, I use canned chipotle peppers (the kind in the can). It’s great with collard greens!

    • Yeah, it does have a strange smell, and on it’s own a weird taste. But for some reason I worship it in recipes. Canned chipotle peppers with collard greens sounds freaking amazing!

  21. Love camp here too! This is almost identical to a soup I make that has become one of our favorite dinners. I use french lentils and also add in tomato paste and about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast before adding broth and beans, it gives it a deeper and more cheesy flavor (plus so much protein and good stuff in that ny). YUM I think I know what’s for dinner tonight. Keep up the great recipes!

    • Radical! Another one for the love camp! I’ll try adding the nutritional yeast next time, it’s hard to go wrong there! Tomato paste also sounds awesome!

  22. Somer, I read a lot of blogs and I am so glad I found yours. Love your recipes and the photography is very good. Keep up the great work. I’m in the love it camp and am pinning this recipe to try later.

  23. I am in the first camp as well, and I use liquid smoke in my pea soup too! It takes it to a whole new level. :-)

  24. LOVE split pea soup and since you’ve ok’d it I’ll stop being freaked out by Liquid Smoke. :-)

  25. LOVE Split Pea Soup – I have never added in Liquid Smoke and I have some in my cupboard….it is nearing the time of year where I live on soup and split pea sounds just right – I need to try the liquid smoke this time around!

  26. Oh yum! Next time I’m needing my soup-fix I will be trying this recipe! Thanks so much for the share! It’s nice to see other Vegans out there spreading love.

  27. We bypass the liquid smoke now (can’t get it here any more) and use smoked paprika. A similar experience but you can’t overdo it like you can with liquid smoke lol! ;) Cheers for this fantastic soup recipe. We are soupavores here on Serendipity Farm and as a long standing vegan I truly missed pea and ham and this little baby is going to be dinner tonight! Love the site by the way and its tucked away in my ress feed reader :)

    • Brilliant on the smoked paprika, that would be delicious as well. So glad you are loving the blog. I’m having a lot of fun with it, it’s exploded! Which is crazy and great all at the same time. xox

      • narf77

        The more sustainable food blogs that offer us a choice of high quality wonderfully flavoured food the better I say and yours is right up there with the ideal :)

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  29. I just meandered over from An Unrefined Vegans split pea soup to this one. Yours is more what I think of when I look at split pea soup as a sort of pureed mush. I agree with you, it’s something you love or hate and I adore it. I used to use liquid smoke too, but then they stopped selling it in Tasmania (cheers Tasmanians for your BORING TASTES! Sigh…)…one little vegan experimentalist doth NOT keep products on shelves long :(. I then had to come up with another way to get my smoky fixes. I started off with a smoker and smoking my own tofu and vegetables but aside from taking a lot of time, I discovered smoked paprika and my world was saved from endless trips outside to the bbq. We use it in anything that needs a kick of smokiness and split pea soup is one such thing. Simple, slippery soul food.

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  32. beth

    I have been experimenting with split pea soup recipes for a few months now. I prefer the mushy kind where the pea actually opens up a bit….not the kind where the pea remains intact. BUT, I want to keep my other veggies intact and not turn to mush. My most successful attempt was in a crockpot, when I noticed after four hours on low that NOTHING had happened so I cranked it up and let it go for another hour and those peas just exploded! I will have to try the liquid smoke…had a bottle in my hand the other day but did not buy it for whatever reason.

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