Split Pea Soup (Vegan)

Good old split pea soup. This souper delicious and satisfying classic never seems to get old. So many I talk to say it’s their all-time favorite and my husband gets crazy excited every time we make a batch. It’s the soup that keeps on giving too since it gets so thick as it sits allowing you to keep adding broth and extending the leftovers. I have two versions I like to make depending when I need it and whether I need a meatless or meat free version. This recipe has both the slow cooker and stovetop method and swap in or swap for meat and meat-free versions. Smoked paprika subs in for the traditional smokey pork flavor in the meat free version and I love using a smoked turkey leg instead of the more traditional ham hocks in the meat version making it even lighter but keeping all the same great depth of flavor. Make it your way and get cozy with this souper star!


  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (or you can substitute 1 cup chopped yellow onion but the leek is better for the slow cooker method especially)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic for slow cooker method (or mince if making this on the stove top
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (this helps give the smoky flavor that usually comes from the ham hock in most split pea soup recipes) *See Recipe Notes Below*
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 teaspsoons Kosher or Sea Salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Plain unsweetened vegan yogurt or sour cream for topping, optional (or use regular for non-vegan recipe)
  • Sprinkle of chives for topping, optional
  • Toasted cubes of French bread or ciabatta drizzled with olive oil for topping, optional


  1. Combine all ingredients except for frozen peas and cook on high for 4  hours or until split peas are tender.
  2. The peas will break down in the soup while cooking but if you want the soup even smoother you can use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot prior to adding the whole frozen peas at the end, or you can ladle some of the soup into a processor or blender, mix until smooth, then add back to pot or slow cooker.
  3. Add in frozen peas in the last half hour of cooking and stir.  Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, adding more if needed. 
  4. Ladle into bowls, top with vegan or regular sour cream or yogurt, sprinkle with toasted bread cubes, and sprinkle with chives, if desired.

Recipe Notes: For non-vegan version add 1 smoked turkey leg instead and let cook with the soup

For stovetop method instead of slow cooker sauté leeks and minced garlic together in olive oil over medium heat for a couple minutes. (Or if using 1 cup chopped regular onions sauté first for a few minutes until translucent, before adding garlic.) Add diced carrots, celery, thyme, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and sauté a few minutes until vegetables soften. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then turn down heat slightly and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until peas are tender/broken down and soup gets thicker. 

Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!

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