Wow your tastebuds with this vegetarian split pea soup. A split pea soup that’s as easy as wash, dice and toss together in the instant pot. This soup may be full of veggies but it is a completely filling meal.

Vegetarian split pea soup recipe

Traditional split pea soup is made with some kind of meat broth and a ham bone, yet my vegetarian split pea soup packs just as much flavor + protein power using only plant-based ingredients. This delicious split pea soup is a recipe the whole family can enjoy.

Fresh peas for split pea soup

How to Make Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

This recipe is so simple! Wash + chop up the veggies, sauté, then simmer in some veggie broth. I recommend getting organic veggies for this soup, as celery is on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list (produced with the most chemicals). Organic vegetable broth is also a better option for this split pea soup, as it has better flavor, as well as no additives.

Ingredients for vegetarian split pea soup

Split Pea Soup Ingredient Swaps

If you don’t have any split peas on hand, you can actually substitute in lentils. Both are great plant-based protein options. Leeks can be swapped out for 1 cup of shallots, which are similar in flavor. Also, don’t be afraid to add in your own spice combo to make this soup unique. I often add a little heat to my recipes, and some green chili hot sauce is the perfect kick for this vegetarian split pea soup. While fresh herbs add more health benefits (and flavor), dried herbs are a great swap in a pinch.

Add fresh herbs to your split pea soup to make it special

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Need to make this soup quickly? Grab that instant pot and get chopping! Seriously though, the instant pot makes surprisingly great soups. To make this vegetarian soup in an instant pot, chop up the veggies, then set the pot to sauté. Add in the avocado oil, and once heated, toss in the veggies. These will probably soften a bit faster, so check on them after 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once sautéd, turn off the instant pot, remove the veggies, and deglaze the bottom of the pot with 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth. Then add in the cooked vegetables, the rest of the broth, and all the spices. Pressure cook on High for 15 minutes. Follow the instant pot guide to manually release pressure, or allow for the pressure to naturally release in 15-20 minutes.

Use organic ingredients in vegetarian split pea soup

Storing + Freezing

This recipe makes a full pot of soup, so freezing some is a great option! I usually freeze soups in single serving portions, so that I can reheat for a quick lunch. I typically freeze soups in pint-sized mason jars with a wide mouth, for easy defrosting/pouring when defrosting. They also stack well in my freezer! Make sure to cool completely before freezing. I actually let this vegetarian split pea soup chill in the fridge overnight before transferring to the freezer, to make sure it really has cooled off. I definitely don’t want any exploding glass jars!

Delicious whole food split pea soup

More Soup Recipes

If you know me, you know I love soup. It’s a great way to pack in lots of different veggies at once. It also fills the whole house with amazing smells. Here are a few more of my fav soup recipes:

What are some of your fav soup recipes? Drop a comment and share! Also, do you have any family soup recipes that you’d love to see in a healthier version? If so, let me know. I love a good challenge, as well as new soup recipes.

4.77 from 38 votes

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

While this vegetarian split pea soup is delicious straight from the stove top, it’s even better as left overs. Make a batch and freeze, or enjoy as a cozy family dinner.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Total: 1 hr 20 mins
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Plant-Based, Vegan
Serves: 6


  • stove


  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 leek white and light green parts only, halved, washed well, and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 3 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves minced
  • sea salt
  • black pepper ground
  • 1 ½ cup dried green split peas about 12 oz.
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme plus more for serving
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-6 cups vegetable stock

For Topping:

  • smoked paprika
  • green onions
  • fresh thyme


  • Sauté the leek, onion, carrot, and celery in 2 tbs avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper then stir occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for 45 more seconds.
  • Add fresh thyme, bay leaves, vegetable stock and green split peas. Cover and reduce heat to low for 1 hour (or until split peas are soft and partially broken down). Remove bay leaves before serving.
  • Serve with paprika, green onions, salt & pepper.


  • To make this onion-free, sub the yellow onion with another leek.
  • This may make extra servings so to freeze: allow to cool completely. Store in freezer-safe containers and freeze.
  • Dried thyme can be subbed in in a pinch.


Calories: 259kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 49mg, Potassium: 722mg, Fiber: 16g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5742IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

About the Author

Simple Green Smoothies

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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  1. 4 stars
    This pea soup was flavorful but a bit watery. I added 6 cups of broth and used my instant pot. I think when I make it next time, I will use the full bag of peas and maybe not so much broth. I also used a stick blender to smooth it out, thinking that would help thicken it up. I topped it with smoked paprika and chives.

  2. 5 stars
    I love split pea and this is my first time making it without ham! Didn’t even miss it! I made it in the instant pot (as I always do) which makes it so easy and fast. I like mine soup-er thick so I added some mashed potato flakes at the end. Hands down best soup! Will definitely make this again and highly recommended you try it!

  3. 5 stars
    I made the Vegetarian Split Pea Soup and topped it with a vegan smoked Gouda, and the green onion tops.
    I want to extend my appreciation for the opportunity to participate in this 10 Day Soup Challenge.
    I appreciate how easy all the soups were to make, flavorful, and healthy!!
    Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    I substitute the green peas with mung beans. Peas are hard to find here and it’s so pricey. So I looked for the substitute that taste similar.
    This soup is light and easy in tummy. But the ingredients work out together to make a great balance. I really love the taste.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious soup & will definitely make again! The smoked paprika gives it a wonderful smoked flavor!!

  6. 5 stars
    My husband and I enjoyed this recipe the most and he hates peas. He didn’t know he was eating them and loved the soup. I use the last of me herbs from the garden, and the rest are drying now for winter use. This was a very pleasurable and heartwarming dish.