Warming & Easy Vegan Split Pea Soup

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It’s been 80°F here for the last few days. What the heck. I mean, I’m not really complaining. I’ll take a warm sunny day any time of year. But what the heck?

A close up, oblique view of a vegan split pea soup inside of a white, ceramic bowl. A second bowl is in the background.

I made this easy vegetarian split pea soup last week when we were having some more “normal” February weather. You know, 65° and sunny, not 80. In my brain it was the last of the winter dishes I was going to make. I have a couple “transitional” dishes planned, ones that are going to attempt to bridge the gap between winter spring, but this one was the last winter one.

Top down view of a two bowls of vegan meatless and dairy free split pea soup topped with sumac spiced croutons. The bowls are sitting on a white, linen table cloth with a raw carrot to one side.

And now as I’m writing this it’s 80° out. So for all of you out there who don’t live on the western side of the continent, this recipe is for you.

Split pea soup has a special place in my heart. When I was a kid, we used to drive up to Solvang, a teeny tiny little Dutch community here on the Central Coast, for a 100-mile bike ride. A bunch of my parents friends and a few of us kids willing to put up with it would take a long weekend and ride bikes, enjoy the cute community there, and spend more time than necessary in whatever hotel pool or hot tub was available.

A close up of a white, ceramic bowl full of vegan-friendly split pea soup topped with sumac-spiced croutons.

At some point during the weekend we would drive into Buellton, another tiny but not quite as quaint town, and go to their famous restaurant, Pea Soup Anderson’s. This restaurant is remarkably famous for being situated in such a small town, but it’s for good reason – they serve ridiculously delicious split pea soup.

I remember going there as a kid and wanting nothing to do with the green-yellow mush put in front of me. It really is unfortunate how ugly split pea soup is. But it’s a really good example of that old saying – Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Because what pea soup lacks in beauty it certainly makes up for in flavor.

About this split pea soup:

Most split pea soup recipes on the internet have some sort of bacon or ham in them, so I set out to make a super delicious vegetarian version. This vegetarian split pea soup has some veggies to bulk it up a bit, like carrots and potatoes, but the kicker is these croutons. I am so into croutons right now.

A close up of a topping of sumac-spiced croutons on top of a vegan split pea soup.

They are so easy to make, and they only take like 15 minutes to bake up. And you guys – there is honestly not much that is quite as satisfying as a fresh-baked still-warm crunchy crouton.

Croutons, you officially have my ❤.

I’ve also recently fell in love with sumac. So I decided to use sumac on these croutons, and I’m so glad I did! I found it at our local Whole Foods, but if you can’t find it at your grocery store (and you don’t want to buy it online) then just use some salt and a bunch black pepper. They’ll still be fantastic.

USimplySeason Ground Sumac via Amazon

The split pea soup has to simmer for about 45 minutes once you add the peas. Stir it every now and then, but otherwise you’re free to make croutons and go play with your dog while it cooks.

Split peas are really funny in that they’ll look like split peas for the first 40 minutes of cooking, and then in the blink of an eye they turn to the wonderful mush we call split pea soup. That’s when you know they’re done cooking!

Top down view of a bowl vegan split pea soup topped with sumac-spiced croutons.

This warm weather has been nice and all, but I’m almost wishing it would cool down again so I can make another batch of this good stuff. Almost ?

Print

Easy Vegan Split Pea Soup


  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Soups and Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This vegan split peas soup recipe is full of carrots, potatoes, and of course, split peas! Topped with homemade sumac-spiced croutons, this is a recipe you’ll make time and again.


Ingredients

For the Soup:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3-4 small gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lb split peas, rinsed
  • 8 cups veggie broth
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • a bunch of freshly cracked black pepper

For the Croutons:

  • 5 cups cubed day-old bread
  • 1 Tbsp sumac*
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven or convection toaster oven to 400°F.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, oregano, and thyme and mix. Add the peas and veggie broth, stir well, and bring to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to low, then partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas turn to mush, about 45 minutes.
  3. While the soup cooks, toss the cubed bread with the olive oil, then sprinkle on the sumac and toss to distribute. Spread the bread out onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  4. When the soup is done cooking, add cayenne pepper, salt, and a bunch of black pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with a few croutons and some extra black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

– If you can’t find sumac, just use a bunch of freshly ground black pepper.

Keywords: split pea, soup, vegan, vegetarian

What about you? Did you love this dish? If so, let us know in the comments below and please give it a rating.

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About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).

8 thoughts on “Warming & Easy Vegan Split Pea Soup”

  1. This looks delicious Raquel! That California light is dreamy. It’s funny because I made split pea soup myself a couple of days ago and it really was amazing! It was a super simple Nigella recipe flavoured with chilli, ginger and lime – yum! Still got plenty of soup days left here in Blighty haha.

  2. This is great, I love split pea soup but don’t like ham, it’s hard to find a split pea recipe without it. And you brought back memories, as a child we would go to Solvang and eat Anderson’s pea soup, the best ever!

    • Perfect, Marsha! I feel like so many people have memories of Pea Soup Anderson’s… such a weird but cool thing! Glad you liked this recipe!

  3. OH man I have also been enjoying the lovely California weather this week. I’m still cooking soups even though it’s blazing hot out… I’ll have to give this one a try. Those croutons tho. Gorgeous! (P.s. Am super stoked to be a part of the recipe planning reveal. Great job, girl!)

    • Hasn’t this weather been just fantastic?? It feels like summer. I mean, we need more rain, but… I’m totally okay with this little break we’ve had ?

  4. Split pea soup has a warm place in my heart as well 🙂 my grandma was the only one that made it for me in my family so it was always a treat! I love that this has a vegetarian spin but no lack of flavor…gorgeous photos…I want to slurp right on in!! <3

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