Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Recipe

Okay, so first let's take a gander at this here photo I took of my vegetarian split pea soup. And then I'll show you what I really think of when I eat this delicious stuff...

Okay...are you ready? Cause this is the real deal.

Allllriiiiighty then. Now that we got that out of the way, and you were kind enough to humor me for 20 seconds, let's get on with the program.

Vegetarian split pea soup is a delicate balance. It needs to be savory but not overpower the natural flavors of the peas. It should be hearty but not mushy and thick like hummus. Split pea soup in the carnivore world has its foundational flavors from a ham bone. The ham provides a salty and slightly smokey taste that accents the earthiness of the peas.

We achieve the rich smokiness from two ingredients: a chipotle pepper soaked in adobo sauce, and caramelized onions. These two additions make this soup lip-smackin' good and wholesome.

As we all know by now, you don’t have to sacrifice any flavor whatsoever just because you are eating a vegetarian meal. Plus, to top it all off this soup is easy peas-y to make! (tehehe, I just crack myself up.) Just 4 main ingredients in a pot and you’ve got a wonderful meal to serve.

Fresh peas can be used for a delicate spring soup, and of course dried split peas can be used year round. My favorite is a big bowl of split pea soup in the fall with a good amber ale. Oh yea, and you can blend the whole thing or leave the peas whole like I did with this batch. Just depends on your mood, ya know?


  • 1 lb. bag of dried split peas
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 qt. vegetable stock
  • 1 qt. water
  • ½ a teaspoon of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt & pepper to taste, but taste beforehand because the delicate flavor of the peas can get lost with too much spice


  1. Put soup pot over med-high heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. When pot is hot add the pad of butter. Allow butter to melt completely (but not brown) then add your onion slices. Spread the onion out evenly to cover the bottom of the pot and let sit for a few minutes. Resist the temptation to stir constantly, but do stir occasionally. (They need to sit on the heat for a bit to get a little crispy and allow the sugars to caramelize but then shift them around before you totally burn the bottom of your pan.) If you feel they are unevenly cooking turn the heat down to medium. And don’t worry if they are sticking to the bottom because the vegetable stock will deglaze the pot.
  2. Once the onions have caramelized add vegetable stock and use your spatula to gently scrape the onions from the bottom of the pot. Then add water and your washed split peas and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low then add chipotle pepper. Partially cover and let simmer for 1 hour, or until the peas are very tender.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
  4. It’s totally up to you what consistency you like your soup to be. You can partially mash the peas with a fork or go all out and use an immersion blender or food processor for a super creamy consistency. If your soup is thicker than you’d like simply add a little extra water.

This vegetarian split pea soup is so simple it’s not even funny but don’t mistake its easy preparation for a simple flavor. It turns out to be a well balanced taste that can be enjoyed by many. It’ll even prove wrong all those who don’t think you should have split peas without the ham. Enjoy!

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