Vegan Split Pea Soup

Learn how to make vegan split pea soup without using ham! This richly flavorful soup uses simple plant-based ingredients to build flavor and the results are absolutely delicious. It’s a recipe you’ll find yourself making again and again!

Bowls of vegan split pea soup arranged on a wooden background with spoons and slices of bread placed around them.

This flavorful vegan split pea soup is one of my childhood favorites! But we would always use a ham bone to infuse deep flavor into the peas. When I was testing this recipe I really wanted to keep it plant-based. And I found that layering the soup with some dried herbs mixed with fresh herbs, and using two forms of garlic gave all the richness that was needed! I love this soup so much that I made it three times in one week.

And the best part about this recipe? It requires less than 10 ingredients and most of them are pantry friendly to make things really easy. The taste is slightly smokey with a touch of garlic, and the consistency is creamy but still with some bites of veggies in it for texture. It’s just so so good!

Ingredients – What You Need

Below you’ll find the list of ingredients needed for this recipe (minus salt & pepper and oil).

Ingredients for vegan split pea soup arranged on a wooden board with the names of the ingredients next to them.

Green split peas: for the base of the soup! And don’t worry, no soaking is needed for split peas. Just be sure to sift through them quickly and remove any pebbles you may find in them!
Onion, carrot, and celery: These add deep flavoring to the soup and also some nutritious veggies!
Garlic & garlic powder: both fresh garlic cloves and garlic powder are used to layer in deep flavor.
Dried oregano: for seasoning!
Fresh thyme sprigs: use these to simmer in the soup and infuse flavor into it! Stems get discarded at the end. Dried thyme also works – but fresh has the most flavor.
Vegetable broth: use lower sodium broth so you can season the soup to your liking!

How to Make It – Step by Step Instructions

First, saute the aromatics! Onions, celery, carrot, and garlic until soft. (Photo 1)

Then add the broth, peas, thyme sprigs, garlic powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then lower to a low to medium simmer and let cook uncovered for 60-80 minutes or until the peas are tender! Stir often. (Photos 2-3)

Step by step photos showing how to make vegan split pea soup.

Then blend! Once the peas have softened and the soup has slightly reduced, use an immersion hand blender or blend half the soup in a blender, then add it back to the soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste if needed and serve! (Photo 4)

Tips for Success

Add water/broth if the liquid cooks off! Pea soup is a thicker consistency, so as it cooks the liquid reduces – but at times it can reduce a bit too much. Always keep some extra filtered water or broth on hand to prevent it from drying up! If you add too much liquid, you can gently simmer the soup until it thickens again.

Water or broth? For the base of split pea soup, I prefer using vegetable broth (low sodium) because it adds a lot more flavor! If you don’t have broth, you can use filtered water. Or you can use half broth, half filtered water! But as stated above, always keep extra liquid on hand when making this soup.

Keep the soup simmering gentle – but not too gentle! When making this recipe, you want the soup to simmer throughout the cooking process so the peas soften in time. If the simmer is too harsh & hot, it will dry up all the liquids. But if the simmer is too low & gentle, it may not cook your peas in time! Keep it on a low to medium simmer – but definitely avoid boiling it! 😉

Frequetly Asked Questions

Do split peas need to be soaked before cooking? Thankfully, no! Peas just need to be rinsed before cooking and sorted (in case there are any small pebbles hiding in them). They will soften and cook in just 60-80 minutes!

Why are my peas not softening? If the peas you use are quite old, they make take longer to cook. If that is the case, be patient and let them simmer until they do soften (be sure to add additional liquid as it cooks if needed). If the peas are dried out, they might be too old and won’t soften! In that case, I’m so sorry.

Bowls of vegan split pea soup arranged on a wooden background with spoons and slices of bread placed around them.

Serving Suggestions

We love serving this soup with either some homemade bread – like this cranberry walnut or cinnamon raisin bread! Or you can serve it with our 10-minute naan pizzas. If you’re thinking of something a little lighter and healthier, you can try this pear salad with gorgonzola or this summer farro salad!

If you tried this Vegan Split Pea Soup recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

Bowls of vegan split pea soup arranged on a wooden background with spoons and slices of bread placed around them.

Vegan Split Pea Soup

Learn how to make vegan split pea soup without using a ham bone! This richly flavorful soup uses simple plant-based ingredients to build flavor and the results are absolutely delicious. It's a recipe you'll find yourself making again and again!

Servings 6
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Tags: split pea soup, vegan split pea soup, vegetarian split pea soup
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 283 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb green split peas
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium) plus additional broth or filtered water if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt & black pepper (each) plus more salt to taste if needed

Instructions

  1. Saute aromatics: First, in a large pot, saute the onions for 1-2 minutes, then add the carrots, celery, a pinch of salt, and cook until soft (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds.

  2. Add broth and peas: Then add vegetable broth, peas, thyme sprigs, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt & black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to a low to medium simmer and let the soup cook uncovered for 60-80 minutes, or until the peas are very tender. Stir often.

    Note: if the soup simmers too much and the liquid reduces, add 1 cup of broth or filtered water as needed until the soup is finished.

  3. Blend part of the soup: When the soup is finished it should be reduced, and the peas should be very tender. Remove the thyme sprigs with a fork and discard. Then use either a hand-held immersion blender and blend part of the soup (still leaving pieces of veggies behind for texture) or transfer half of the soup into a blender and blend, then add back to the pot. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed, and serve!

Notes

Add water/broth if the liquid cooks off! Pea soup is a thicker consistency, so as it cooks the liquid reduces – but at times it can reduce a bit too much. Always keep some extra filtered water or broth on hand to prevent it from drying up! If you add too much liquid, you can gently simmer the soup until it thickens again.

Water or broth? For the base of split pea soup, I prefer using vegetable broth (low sodium) because it adds a lot more flavor! If you don’t have broth, you can use filtered water. Or you can use half broth, half filtered water! But as stated above, always keep extra liquid on hand when making this soup.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Split Pea Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 283 Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value*
Fat 2.5g4%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 592mg25%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 50.1g17%
Fiber 18.4g74%
Sugar 9.7g11%
Protein 16.2g32%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 4mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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3 Comments

  • Avatar for Phil Phil says:

    Made it today and it’s so yummy. Thanks

  • Avatar for Christine Christine says:

    Is there anyway to tell if the split peas are too old by looking at them. The last time I made pea soup they never got beyond the crunchy stage! Such a waste of time ☹️

    • Avatar for Bethany Bethany says:

      Hi Christine! I know, split peas can be super tricky. I would definitely first pay attention to expiration on the package. But also test the smell if they have an unpleasant odor, and check appearance if they seem really dried out. I try not to let them sit too too long in my pantry so they’re sure to cook properly!