Smoky Split Pea Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Smoky Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup recipes are often flavored with ham hocks, but this veg version gets its smoky taste from smoked paprika and chipotle chiles. Sweet potatoes and split peas are good sources of potassium, which lowers blood pressure.



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1 cup green split peas
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2 Tbs. olive oil
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1 tsp. smoked paprika
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1 tsp. chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
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1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (3 cups)
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2 medium onions, diced (3 cups)
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3 ribs celery, diced (1 cup)
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4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
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1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes


1. Soak split peas in large bowl of cold water overnight.

2. Heat oil in 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add paprika and chipotle, and stir. Add sweet potato, onions, and celery, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes.

3. Drain split peas, and add to pot with 6 cups water. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour. Add tomatoes, and cook 30 minutes more, or until split peas are tender.

Nutrition Information: 

9 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
45 g
0 mg
162 mg
16 g
9 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

Yes crockpot all the way. This is how i made my first split pea soup and it was delicious. I put it on high for about 4 to 5 hours. It was thick and delicious!

This soup is AMAZING. I didn't think I liked pea soup because I'm not a big fan of peas, but I tried one at a vegetarian restaurant and really liked it. But this one is even better! It's spicy and delicious, and everyone that's tried it (non vegetarians) LOVED it, and say it beats any ham based one they've had. Enjoy!

This is so good. It's easy to make.

This is gooood! I was looking for a great recipe and found this one in the magazine. It will be great for chilly days too!

Yummy! Added more paprika and sme cumin. So good!

Tried making this and the split peas did not cook after 4 hours! Not edible.

I had the same problem with the split peas. They didn't cook at all! What the heck? Any suggestions anyone!?

Try boiling the split peas for 10 minutes or so, then let them sit in the hot water for about an hour instead of soaking them overnight. Drain them and add them to the soup, continuing to cook for another hour or so.

I found out that if u try to cook peasor beans that are older than 1 year they are harder to cook this may be why u had a hard time to cook them. I made this soup and it was delicious but I used acorn squash as I had not sweet potatoe and it was still very good, everybody wanted the recipie.

I read that hard water will cause beans/legumes not to soften. One chef suggests soaking and cooking them in bottled spring water.

Is it possible to make this in a crock pot?

i boiled the peas for 30 or 40 minutes rather than soaking and it worked fine. what i didn't like was how watery the broth ended up being, so i added a vegan bouillon cube and a little corn starch and blended with an immersion blender so about half the peas/potatoes were made into a more creamy texture. the texture and taste blossomed. (i also used about 3 times the chiles recommended - spicy = yummy!)

I liked this dish okay but I won't be making it again. I just wanted to add my two cents as I am not as impressed as the rest of you for some reason...I had to add a veggie bouillon cube, over a teas cumin, over a teas oregano, 3 times the recommended chiles, additional paprika, and additional garlic just to make it flavorful enough. And I still wasn't sold on it

Wow, this is super yummy! We make it every few weeks. I add a little extra chipotle and paprika but that's just because we like things spicy. I also only do one onion. Mmm I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow.

one of my favorite soups!! I add anything in my fridge to this. you can substitute any veg or bean. It is always a crowd pleaser. i make this all year round.

Why in the world would you soak split peas?? I am 77 yrs old and have been cooking pea soup for many years and I have never soaked split peas nor do I recall ever seeing any other recipe saying to soak split peas. Just asking.

When I soaked mine, they started to sprout a little bit. Maybe it's for the extra nutritional value?

very tasty! i'm putting this on my go-to recipes list. i used 4 cups of vegetable stock (and a little water) instead of 6 cups of water. also added some cumin and ginger.

This soup seemed to lack some kick so we added 2tbs of apple cinder vinegar. One of the best soups I have made.

One of our favorites.

Subtituted a few shakes of chipotle powder, added a bay leaf, and omitted the paprika. I did not have regular canned tomatoes so added a 10oz can of Rotel diced with habaneros. It turned out very spicy so I added more oregano and 1% milk to balance it. Also, I did not have celery, which would have helped. I also only cooked the soup for about a half hour from the time the onions went in to the time it came off the heat. Although still quite spicy, it was quite delicious!

I'll agree with the other reader who found this bland. If you like your soups very straight-forward flavor-wise, or if you've never used many herbs and spices in your kitchen, you'll probably enjoy this. But I, too, added a good handful of oregano and a bit of thyme. You'll also need to add salt if you use low- or no-salt tomatoes.

Looks good!

Just wondering - if you don't think it thick enough, try putting part of the cooked soup *very carefully* into a blender & process. Add back to soup. No blender? In small batches, put on dinner plate, or a smaller pot, & press w/potato masher (mine is a solid, circular steel plate).

Try this.

The smokey split pea soup is delicious! I didn't even soak my peas and it came out great . I wonder if the peas stay in one piece if you soak them because as per usual my Peas just became the background sauce for the veggie but it is a great recipe !

this is the best split pea soup i have ever had! I left out the pablanos because im not a fan..its so hard to find a good recipe without ham or bacon :P even my husband like it and he is a meat eater..

Made this yesterday.... Was delicious! I Cooked the peas for about 25 minutes instead of soaking. Also, I added veg. Broth instead of water, a can of stewed tomatoes, 1 cup of celery and an an extra chipotle. I also used an immersion blender on half of the soup right in the cooking pot. .... I prefer thicker stew like soup. Will make again with whatever I have in the fridge!

Made tonight for supper, and loved it. Made a few additions to enhance flavour: 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp thyme, 2 laurel leafs, 2 tsp paprika instead of 1 , 6 cups of vegetable stock instead of water and more chipotle. No need to soak peas (never heard of that before). Slow cooked for 2 hours and it was super tasty!

I have to keep the salt low so I used low sodium vegetable broth and added more chipotle. I used hot smoked paprika. I cook beans, rice and peas in a pressure cooker, so I never soak any of them. I just finished the soup off in a regular pot after everything was combined. Also, fire roasted canned tomatoes add a little more flavor. We loved this soup!

everyone loved this soup - it is good thing I doubled recipe- so delicious!!

This was delicious. I left out the tomatoes at the end because the dish seemed complete already, and just cooked it another 15 or so minutes as is. I used only 5 cups water and since I like spicy I tripled the amount of chipotle peppers.