Split pea soup is one of my favorite vegan recipes; it’s healthy, delicious, and keeps me full throughout the day. This meal is packed with flavorful ingredients while remaining vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, making it a great option for people with allergies or dietary restrictions who love a tasty and hearty meal. Even if you aren’t a full-fledged vegetarian, incorporating a few meat-free meals into your diet is a healthy habit that can lower your risk of heart disease and help you to live a longer, healthier life, according to the Mayo Clinic.
What are split peas, anyway? Split peas are dried, peeled, and “split” seeds that come in green and yellow varieties. They are especially popular in Caribbean cuisine, from Guyana, Trinidad, and the Fiji Islands. Yellow split peas are also used in Iranian and Beijing cuisines. Here in the States, however, we favor the green variety, which we primarily use in—you guessed it—split pea soup.
One cup of cooked split peas has over 16 grams of protein, making it an ideal meal for anyone looking to fill up and stay energized. The dish also contains some healthy carbs in the form of potatoes, which contain more potassium than a banana and provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C, as well. As a bonus, the carrots in split pea soup will more than take care of your daily recommended serving of Vitamin A.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 pound dried split peas
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 5 cups water
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- ½ cup onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- pepper to taste
Place the split peas, vegetable stock, and 4 cups of water into a large stock pot. Stir and add all the veggies (potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then maintain it at medium heat. Add your bay leaves, garlic powder, celery salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour, stirring regularly and skimming the foam off the top while cooking. Use your reserved cup of water to add some additional liquid into the soup about every fifteen minutes. Once the split peas have softened and fully broken apart, remove the bay leaves and you’re ready to serve.
Place the soup in a bowl and top it off with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. I like to serve this meal along with some gluten-free bread—Udi’s is great. You can also make your own croutons by cubing Udi’s bread and toasting it in a pan with a little garlic and olive oil. Add some salt, and voila: homemade croutons.
When it comes to split pea soup, I’m a traditionalist, but there are plenty of things you can do to change up this recipe. For an Italian flavor, add a bit of dried oregano to the mix, or top off each bowl with a sprig of fresh parsley for color and taste. Give this recipe an Indian twist by adding a tablespoon of curry powder. You can also substitute cauliflower for the potatoes if you are watching your carbs.
What’s your choice method for cooking vegan recipes? Leave a comment below or send us a #GoodMatters tweet on Twitter. Bon appétit!
Images source: Laurie Fanelli
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