Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup

This vibrant soup makes great use of leftover fennel stalks.



Ingredient Line: 
2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 
5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
Ingredient Line: 
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
Ingredient Line: 
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
Ingredient Line: 
1 cup dry white wine, divided
Ingredient Line: 
15 oz. dried green split peas
Ingredient Line: 
1 tsp. fennel seeds, divided
Ingredient Line: 
½ tsp. dried thyme
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1 bay leaf
Ingredient Line: 
5 oz. baby spinach leaves


1. Heat saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine, and simmer 2 minutes. Add split peas, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until split peas are tender. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

3. Remove bay leaf, and purée soup with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toast remaining 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds in small skillet 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds.

Nutrition Information: 

13 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
42 g
0 mg
45 mg
21 g
3 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

How much liquid is added to the split pea soup? Both the recipe in the magazine and on this page do not mention how muich water or broth to add.

7 cups of water. It's in step one of the directions towards the end.

can i omit the white wine in this recipe?

To omit the wine, substitute an unsweetened apple juice.

Where is all he sodium in this recipe coming from?

Sorry. Where is all the sodium in this recipe coming from?

the outlined sodium content is very high but I fail to see where the sodium is coming from.

This soup was very bland. I couldn't help but think it needed more onion and a lot more garlic and some vegetable stock or bouillon instead of just plain water for broth. I expected the peas to be sweet but they had no taste (maybe a little brown sugar could be a nice boost). I don't know what happened to the flavor here, but I followed directions to the letter and was left with a soup that needed to be either heavily doctored or poured down the sink. Someone needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

I have made this several times and I have used a lot more garlic, ground fennel and use no wine and no oil! I also use a lot more spinach in this. Friends love this soup when I make it:)

Bland, yes, but it didn't take too much "doctoring" to get a very tasty soup. I added 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of Bosari brand "Orange Ginger" salt &amp; a healthy dose of black pepper. Don't have Bosari? Then salt, pepper and some orange or lemon zest would also do the trick. I served with a dollop of sour cream and it was delish. Might also make a good chilled soup.

O - easy recipe and good. lydia

Bland as a fondue, but awesome as a soup base. Combined with Split Pea, Fennel and Spinach soup recipe to create one outstanding, flavorful soup!

Love this soup. We enjoy it with either spinach or arugula, and don't skip the wine! Also, add about 1/4 tsp. each of cayenne pepper and nutmeg to really bring out the flavor. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt and serve with a crusty sourdough bread. Fantastic!

Easy to make and the fennel makes is EXCELLENT!!!

sounds like a possibilty for a good meal


Split pea soup

Could I use split red peas with this recipe? If not, I need new ideas for my red split peas. Peace

This was an amazing recipe, I don't think that I will every be able to eat regular split pea soup ever again. I was very impressed, the recipe was easy to make and very filling.

I made this at the weekend and it's delicious. Omitted the wine and added vegetable broth plus a small amount of spinach at the end. Makes a great workday lunch :)

I made this soup with all the ingredients as listed, however I changed the instructions because I did not want a totally blended soup. I used my pressure cooker for the whole thing. First I PC'd the fennel, onions &amp; garlic with half the wine and water to barely cover. When done I blended those cooked vegetables with the uncooked spinach and then put it all back into the PC with the split peas, the rest of the wine and water and seasonings. I PC'd it for 22 minutes and it was done perfectly with great texture. I didn't find this soup bland at all and it just got better and better after a few days in the fridge.

I'm lactose intolerant &amp; was excited to find a soup that was EASY without a lot of bizarre ingredients. I had never used 'real' fennel before, so I was nervous that it would be too 'licorice-y' but it was wonderful. We subbed the wine with 4 C. vegetable juice and 4 C. water; added about about 1 1/2 T. of salt &amp; some ground pepper. Oh, baby! It was wonderful. I was thrilled at how easy it was to make. (Those who can tolerate dairy would enjoy a dollop of sour cream on top.) Thanks for a great recipe.

I made this for Thanksgiving. It turned out pretty well. But it was the first time I used fennel... and when the leftovers were stuffed into every cold nook and cranny, I kind of lost track of my poor soup! Amy

This kitchen-challenged girl made the Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup recipe last night and it was SOOOOOOOO delicious! And SOOOOOOOOO easy! Thanks VT!

Do soak the split peas overnight; they do sprout even though they are split. The soaked peas still require 50 minutes of simmering too. The fennel does not require 50 minutes of simmering. Next time I will add the fennel 30 minutes into the cooking of this soup. I used all the fennel even the fronds, why waste anything. It was a delicious and very filling soup.

Substitute lentil for split peas..

I made this for dinner last night. My husband and I really liked it. My son wasn't too fond even though he loves split peas. He didn't like the fennel and spinach chunks. I didn't puree it completely because I like a chunky/hearty soup but next time I make it I will puree it a bit more. I used all of the fennel. I don't like to waste anything.

This is a really great soup. The toasted fennel garnish is fantastic too. Followed the recipe exactly. Thanks very much.

How interesting ... I just made this today and now the recipe pops up in my email. Since I like my soup thicker, I use less water than called for. Otherwise, I've made it exactly as written. I've also made it without the fennel if I didn't have any on hand, substituting it with onion and a little celery, and without the white wine. It's a pretty forgiving recipe if you need to make adjustments. And delicious!