Split Pea Soup

It finally happened.  It finally snowed in DC.  The best, best, best part of winter, the part that makes all those bleak, cold days worth it, is the snow.  Everything – buildings, trees, people –  looks better in the snow.  Well, everything looks better before the snow turns to slush and then turns gray and gross.  But before that point, the world is a beautiful wonderland, frosted with a sparkling coat of fluffy white snow.

And the best, best, best part of snow is when it’s actually snowing.  Somehow, no matter what is actually happening outside, the world suddenly seems quiet, serene, and peaceful.  Those moments of calm are among the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed.  When it’s snowing, nothing else has to exist and you don’t have to worry about anything at all.  You can walk through the streets, breathe deeply, and just be.  There truly aren’t enough words in the world to express the beauty I see and the calm that I feel when snow is falling from the sky.  I would happily live in that world forever.

This cold, beautiful world also inspires me to make hot, hearty soup.  This week, it inspired me to make split pea soup, one of my personal favorites.  Something about the way the peas melt into the smooth, almost creamy green soup makes me happy inside.  I personally like my split pea a bit chunky, so rather than blending the soup, I let the peas simmer for a while and melt down on their own.

This recipe is great because it’s easy to make.  It’s also easy to transform into a slow cooker soup.  Just put all the ingredients, minus the oil, into a slow cooker and set it on low for 8-10 hours.  If you put it on before you go to work in the morning, you’ll come home to a house that smells like soup, and a hot dinner ready and waiting for you.  Add some snow falling silently outside your window and a good book to curl up with, and I call that the perfect winter evening.

Split Pea Soup

Serves 6-8

2.5 cups dried split peas (1 pound), rinsed and picked over
10 cups vegetable stock, water, or a mix
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups of thinly sliced carrots
2 cups of thinly sliced celery
2 bay leafs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Croutons (optional, to garnish)

1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  When it’s hot, add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they soften and begin to sweat.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

2. Add the carrots, celery, peas, water/stock and herbs to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and, stirring occasionally let the soup go for 60-90 minutes, partially covered.

3. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow the soup to simmer for another few minutes, then remove the bay leaves and ladle into bowls.  Top with croutons if you want and serve hot.


26 Responses to Split Pea Soup

  1. Hilary Hahn says:

    Love to make split pea soup! I am vegetarian and I am trying this today.
    We were out of celery, so I threw in a handful of potatoes thinly sliced.

  2. […] Split Pea Soup by The Inventive Vegetarian. When we really need a cheap meal to balance out a pricier menu for the week, we hit this one up. It’s a vegetarian version, but we have added ham to it and it’s also delicious. The recipe shows how to make it stove top and in the crock pot. Tip from experience: one time we forgot to buy vegetable broth and just used water like the recipe says you can do. Nasty. We threw it out. This needs broth, don’t make it with just water. […]

  3. ew says:

    Kudos – finally, a site owner who has the taste and intelligence to use almost black serif font.

    But, your photo looks like 900 others on the same kind of site.

    Yet, your font design is great.

  4. Emily Moore says:

    So yummy! Thanks for sharing. I like the look of your blog – I’ll definitely be trying out more of your recipes soon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This soup turned out wonderful although I made some minor changes. I didn’t have any fresh parsley so I used 1 tsp dried parsley and I added a teaspoon and a half of dried oregano. I did forget to add the lemon juice, so I’ll have to try that next time.

  6. BuenaMama says:

    I am a BIG fan of split pea soup! I am making your recipe with a few adjustments since I have a picky toddler so I need to sneak in extra veggies. She luckily adores split pea soup so in addition to your veggies I added 1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper and 1 1/4 cup of Mexican zucchini, shredded. I also subbed grape seed oil for the olive oil since the chemical composition changes in olive oil when cooked and becomes a bad fat :/ I can’t wait to try it and thank you for your recipe and beautiful photographs!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just made it tonight. It’s as tasty as it looks!

  8. Rachele says:

    Sounds delish. Just a note – you mention garlic in your instructions, but it isn’t in your ingredients list.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Tried this soup yesterday, it was absolutely delicious! I saw your comment about the slow cooker but how do you think this would work out in a pressure cooker?

  10. Raven says:

    I absolutely love split pea soup on a cold day, it is my DH’s favorite anytime of year! I cannot wait to try your recipe over mine, thanks!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if its doable in a slow cooker?

    • It’s definitely doable in a slow cooker! Just put in all the dry ingredients, add water or broth until it covers them, mix it all up and set it on low for 6-8 hours. It’s great to come home from work and have the house smelling like soup 🙂

  12. This looks like THE DISH for winter days of rain and thunder! All wrapped up in a blanket with the fire roaring – yuM!
    You are a brilliant cook 🙂
    And wonderful blog!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: 2 Tone Choc-Blueberry Cheesecake

  13. Thanks everyone!

    @CulinarilyCourtney – I did make the croutons. I just happened to have a very stale baguette on hand this past weekend. And yes, the lemon juice definitely makes the flavors pop.

    @Matthew – It’s so nice to meet a fellow DC blogger! I shoot with a Nikon D5100 (it’s only a few months old, and it is my absolute favorite toy in the world).

    I hope everyone is staying warm!!!!

  14. Matthew says:

    How exciting you live in DC too! I’m a blogger as well, and just loved you recipe and your totally professional photos. You have an SLR? Very impressive on all levels.

    Wasn’t the snow just lovely?


  15. I love split pea soup! I really like your idea of adding lemon juice to the soup. I would never have thought of that and I bet it helps bring out the flavor of the peas. Also, did you make the croutons? They look really good too.

  16. Oh, this soup looks divine!!

  17. Nava.K says:

    Such a delicious soup and it will be great for us especially now that its raining in between the days. I must have this with some white rice for extra punch.

  18. Eliotseats says:

    Great for a cold day!

  19. Amalia says:

    Wow, this looks amazing! The beautiful color and those crispy croutons are perfect, especially for that gorgeous winter snow you were describing! I couldn’t agree with you more, when it snows, it’s like all the bad, and all the noise just fades away and there’s just quiet and peace left…I love it! Lucky you, I wish I could be curled up on the couch, reading a book and eating this delicious soup! Great post 🙂

  20. I absolutely adore Split Pea Soup – it truly is the perfect Winter Soup!

  21. Kiri W. says:

    Mmmm, this brings back memories of home. I grew up with plenty of hearty split pea soups in Germany, and it’s such a comfort food to me.

  22. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I can’t wait to try it myself!

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