When the weather gets cold, I crave hearty meals-in-a-bowl like homestyle vegan split pea soup. It’s a full-bodied soup that delivers a lot of flavor and makes your insides feel cozy and soothed.
Add some toasted baguette, crackers, or grilled garlic sourdough to complete the dinner.
Dishes are kept to a minimum with just spoons and soup bowls. Plus, most soups freeze well, meaning quick and easy thaw-able meals later.
Vegan split pea soup
I started making this soup way back in 2010 when I wanted a split pea option that was like my favorite canned split pea of yore but without having any pigs harmed in the process.
Making split pea soup from scratch takes more time and forethought than cracking open a can. But you can’t beat the balanced warmth of homemade.
This vegan split pea soup is thick and dense with carrots, celery, garlic, barley, and broken down split peas. (For a gluten-free option, replace the barley with rice.)
This comforting soup gets its smokiness by way of smoked salt. But if you’d rather use liquid smoke, that works as well. I go for equal portions of either one in the recipe below for a hint of smokiness without overpowering.
I even made a video about this soup when we were still living in a cabin on the river. The light and sound aren’t the greatest, but you can see one of my favorite places I’ve lived. It’s actually my most-viewed video on YouTube by far!
When you need a cozy, stick-to-your ribs meal, don’t look any further than this vegan split pea soup.
Home-style Vegan Split Pea Soup
- 1 tsp organic canola oil or other neutral cooking oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 4 ½ cups water
- 1 vegan vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 ½ cups split peas green or yellow, rinsed and sorted
- ¼ cup barley rinsed and sorted (Brown rice also works, but the soup will be a bit more watery since it doesn’t absorb as much water)
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp smoked salt or liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, add organic canola oil and bring to a medium heat. Sauté garlic, carrots, celery and onion for about five minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the water and bouillon cube to the pot.
- Put the split peas and barley into the soup pot along with the coriander, basil, and thyme. Bring to a simmer. Once it is simmering, reduce the heat to low, stir, and cover with lid.
- Keep the soup covered and cooking for 60 minutes. Depending on the age of your split peas, the seal of your pot, and the heat of the low setting on the stove, the soup may be done anywhere between 60-90 minutes. The soup is done when the split peas are soft, mushy, and falling apart. If it looks like you'll run out of liquid before the split peas are totally softened, add more water as necessary and adjust spices accordingly.
- When finished, add smoked salt, and salt and pepper to taste.