Easy Moroccan Split Pea Soup with anti-inflammatory spices and protein-rich legumes is healthy comfort food at its finest. This nourishing soup is weeknight-approved, freezer-friendly, and sure to become a household favorite. Vegan, gluten free, and easily made stove-top or in the Instant Pot.
Why You'll Love this Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup is healthy, super filling, warming, and the best kind of recipe to have in your refrigerator. It reheats like a dream and tastes even better the next day. This vegan split pea soup tastes like something that's been simmering on the stove top for HOURS. The flavor is complex, yet the method couldn't be simpler.
A lot of classic split pea recipes call for a ham hock, which adds a lot of richness and umami to the soup. In this version, however, we lean on bold spices to add depth and dimension. Trust me, you won't miss the meat one bit!
To slash cooking time by one-third, you can also prep this soup in the pressure cooker. (Bonus: all of the ingredients stay the same for Instant Pot split pea soup!).
I love topping each bowl with crunchy sourdough croutons and a drizzle of olive oil for richness. You can also sprinkle each serving with fresh herbs, bacon bits, or pine nuts.
- Split Peas: Split peas are an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, and magnesium. Whether you’re using green or yellow split peas, you don’t need to soak them. Just rinse and pick them through to ensure there are no small pebbles in the batch.
- Aromatics: A classic mirepoix mix of onion, carrots, and celery creates an aromatic backbone for this soup. The key is to cook them long enough so they really sweat--at least 10 minutes. For the onion, I prefer yellow, however you can also use white, sweet, or even shallots.
- Broth: If making this split pea soup vegan, use vegetable broth. Otherwise, chicken or turkey broth will also work. You can also a homemade stock, however you may need to season the soup with extra salt.
- Spices: This soup calls for a mix of ground turmeric, garam masala, and smoked paprika. Garam masala is an aromatic Indian spice blend widely used in curries, lentil dishes, and soups. If you can't find it, feel free to use ground cardamom instead.
- Raisins: This may seem like a curveball ingredient, but the texture and sweetness of raisins is such a lovely contrast in this soft soup. If you're raisin-adverse, you can leave them out, however don't knock it until you try it!
As far as garnishes, my personal go-to is homemade (or store-bought) sourdough croutons. Some folks also love crunchy bits of bacon overtop. (If making vegan split pea soup, a great alternative is unsweetened toasted coconut flakes or dehydrated shiitake mushrooms.)
Step 1: Sauté Aromatics
Start by heating a glug of olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Next, add onions, carrots, and celery; cook until vegetables soften, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Step 2: Bloom Spices
Add garlic and spices (turmeric, garam masala, and smoked paprika) to pot. Cook for 2 minutes, until the garlic becomes aromatic and spices fragrant.
Step 3: Add Split Peas and Broth
Stir in thyme, bay leaf, and split peas; stir well to fully coat split peas in spices. Next, add broth and season soup with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Simmer Split Pea Soup
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and let gently simmer with the lid slightly ajar for about 60 minutes. At this point, the peas should be creamy and soft. If you want the peas softer to the point where they break down, continue cooking another 15 minutes.
Also, if you want the soup a bit thinner, add another splash or broth or water.
Step 5: Add Garnishes and Serve!
Remove bare thyme stems and bay leaf from soup, and stir in raisins. Ladle soup into each of four bowls, and garnish with toppings of choice.
How to Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
The ingredients stay the same for stovetop and Instant Pot cooking. However your cook time is reduced by one-third!
Set Instant Pot to “Sauté” on medium heat. Pour in oil, then add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until vegetables are softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add garlic and spices to onion mixture and stir to combine. Cook until spices are very fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, and split peas; stir to coat. Stir in broth and season with salt and pepper. Lock lid and set machine to cook at high pressure 12 minutes. Manually release pressure.
Remove bare thyme stems and bay leaf, and stir in raisins. Serve Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with garnishes of choice.
How to Store and Reheat Split Pea Soup
- To Store: Let soup cool to room temperature before placing leftovers in an airtight storage container. Refrigerate leftover soup for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat: Gently rewarm soup in a small soup pan on the stove over medium heat until hot. You can also reheat individual portions of soup in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 to 45 seconds.
- To Freeze: Store soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What Goes Well with Split Pea Soup?
- Salad: You can't go wrong with a soup + salad combo! This Winter Chopped Salad with White Balsamic features white beans and sweet potatoes for a filling and flavorful side. This Thai Butternut Quinoa Salad is also a delicious compliment to the soup’s flavor.
- Sandwich: For a non-veg option, this Green Goddess Chicken Salad Sandwich will make for a mighty fine lunch. Or for the vegetarians, I love these Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches.
- Protein: For a plant-based option that’s super satiating, try my Moroccan Lentil Meatballs or Chickpea Meatballs.
- Bread: Garlic bread, pita, fresh sourdough, or a baguette are perfect for dunking into this soup and sopping up the remains.
Recommended Tools to Make Split Pea Soup
- Dutch Oven: I use my Lodge Enameled 6-qt Dutch Oven for every stovetop soup recipe. It’s a staple piece on my stovetop, and has endless functionality. Lodge is also quite a bit cheaper than Cuisinart, yet just as good quality, in my opinion.
- Ladle: For transferring the soup to your bowl, you need a reliable ladle. This one is sleek, affordable, and versatile.
- 6-Quart Instant Pot: 6-quart large capacity cooks for up to 6 people – perfect for families, and also great for meal prepping and batch cooking for singles and smaller households.
More Vegan Soup Recipes to Try:
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love for you to leave a rating and review. Also, be sure snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations.
Easy Moroccan Split Pea Soup
- Stockpot or Dutch oven
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. garam masala (sub ground cardamom)
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry green or yellow split peas
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable or chicken broth
- ½ tsp. each sea salt and black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. raisins
- Homemade or store-bought croutons (I like using sourdough), bacon bits, unsweetened toasted coconut flakes, dehydrated shiitake mushrooms
- Heat oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery; cook 8 to 10 minutes, until soft.
- Add garlic, turmeric, garam masala, and smoked paprika; cook 2 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic becomes aromatic and spices fragrant. Stir in thyme, bay leaf, and split peas; stir well to fully coat split peas in spices. Add broth and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer, covered, for 50 to 60 minutes. At this point, the split peas should be soft and creamy, but still somewhat intact. If you want the split peas more broken down, continue cooking another 15 minutes.
- Remove bare thyme stems and bay leaf from soup, and stir in raisins. Ladle soup into each of four bowls, and garnish with toppings of choice.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Set Instant Pot to “Sauté” on medium heat. Pour in oil, then add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until vegetables are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and spices to onion mixture and stir to combine. Cook until spices are very fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, and split peas; stir to coat. Stir in broth and season with salt and pepper. Lock lid and set machine to cook at high pressure for 12 minutes. Manually release pressure. Remove bare thyme stems and bay leaf, stir in raisins, and serve.