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
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!

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.

About the Author

Jen Hansard

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. Split pea soup has always been on the top of my list for soups so I was anxious to try this recipe. This soup was very tasty and could definitely be a meal replacement so filling. I ate it with some sourdough bread for dipping. I added in a little smoked paprika and tried it with a swirl of the cashew cream. The high protein and fiber in this soup make this a winner I will make over and over again. Love It and all the fun I had making it.

  2. 3 stars
    Vegetarian split pea was not as good as my mother-in-laws recipe since she used a piece of salt pork to cook her peas alongside! But that’s not vegetarian and I tried this one as a test to compare which my husband liked too – still his mom’s!

    Favorite soup was a toss up between the Potato Comfort Soup and the Vegetarian Tortilla Soup. They were flavorful! Thanks for the Challenge. Now I have a new listing of soups to choose from for the family!

  3. 5 stars
    Admittedly, I’m a sucker for split pea soup and this did not disappoint! Came together very easily and is just as good, if not (or actually) better, than its non-vegetarian counterpart.

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent soup. I loved all the flavors, everything mingled really nicely together. An easy soup to make I will make this one again. I love peas

  5. 3 stars
    I like that this is a thicker soup and has lots of great flavor. This is easy to make and is great for dinner.

  6. 5 stars
    Hearty and filling soup. Although not a huge fan of peas, once puréed this soup becomes a great addition to tacos!

  7. 5 stars
    The split pea soup was so easy and fast to make using the pressure cooker! I used Herbes de Provence in place of the thyme. It is a favorite blend of mine that also includes thyme. We didn’t miss the ham at all! Thank you for the recipes and the fun soup challenge!

  8. 5 stars
    Yum! What a hearty soup. My husband wasn’t excited about pea soup but he tried it and liked it too! I will freeze the leftovers for future lunches.

  9. 5 stars
    Let me start off by saying I have eaten Split Pea Soup since I was a little girl. I love it! This recipe is almost identical to mine except I don’t include leeks and I do now add cubed pieces of ham. Tonight’s soup brought back home when we ate meatless Fridays. Thank you.

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious and filling. I had already started making the soup when I realized I didn’t have the split peas. I used whole dried peas instead. I just cooked it longer and used a hand blender to partially blend the peas for a thicker soup. I made it in the instant pot. It was easy and I love being able to walk away and let it cook. This is a great recipe.

  11. 4 stars
    This is a very easy soup to make. I added some liquid smoke like another reviewer suggested. I skipped the leek because I forgot to buy it and didn’t want to make a trip to the store for just one item. I added a half a zucchini that I had leftover.

    It was soooo good! Definitely a recipe I’ll make again. I will be freezing most of it though because I’m the only one in my house who likes peas.

  12. 4 stars
    Pleasantly surprised, peas not being at the top of my list but this soup really was good. The combination of vegetables pulled together well and we’re delicious.

  13. 5 stars
    For this one I chose to use lentils, after reading the description, since lentils are my favorite. I followed the recipe and It was yummy, yummy!!! Thank you for all the wonderful soup recipes. I enjoyed the challenge very much. I have soups in the freezer for a long time.