Hearty Winter Pea Soup

Yellow vegetarian split pea soup.Wednesday is Recipe Day at Cooking Manager.

I love to have a rich soup in the house, especially in the winter. The main reason is laziness. You don’t have to stand over soup, and a little over-cooking doesn’t hurt. Add some wholesome bread, home-made or store-bought, and a salad, and you have dinner in a pinch. This soup works as comfort food when you get tempted to hit the cookies, too. This simple recipe is low-fat and vegetarian, too.

The only thing to remember is that pea soup can get brown on the bottom if there isn’t enough liquid, so do keep your eye (and your nose) on it.


  • 2 cups dried split peas, any color, rinsed well and checked for debris.
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce


  1. Saute the onions in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add peas and 4 quarts water.
  3. Bring to boil, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes, or ten minutes in a pressure cooker.*
  4. Add other ingredients and cook for another 30  minutes (10 minutes in the pressure cooker), stirring occasionally, until the peas are very soft. Eat as is or grind with a stick blender or food processor.


  • Add a sliced potato or two.
  • Substitute Indian spices for the Tamari sauce.
  • Add butternut squash.
  • Add fresh herbs like basil, parsley or mint.
  • Use a slow cooker (crock-pot) instead.

*Pressure cooker notes: Peas make a lot of foam, so be careful when releasing the steam so you won’t get sprayed. It’s best to turn off the heat and wait for the steam to dissipate naturally (natural release method). If you don’t mind mushy carrots and celery, add all the ingredients at the beginning and cook for 20 minutes.

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  1. Aviva_Hadas says

    We are having pea soup for dinner. (I make a broth with smoked turkey legs or wings & then add that meat to the soup. Non-Kosher friends have been agast thinking that I had used pork. FWIW.)

  2. I sometimes add toasted sesame oil to pea soup – I like the flavor. I have one son who loves it, two others who go blech.

  3. I have a very similar recipe I was planning to make tonight! I got it off the back of the Goya bag of split yellow peas-I don’t even saute the onions onions, it just all goes in together with some salt. We like to top it off with fresh diced veggies like peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Also good with a little cheese or left over chicken.

  4. Cooking soups in the winter is not only a good idea for a warm and filling meal, it also makes me feel homey and cozy. I love adding coriander to the mix, and a nice dollop of pesto or preserved lemon before zhuzzing.

  5. My mum is cooking this pea soup dish right now. I gave her the recipe.

  6. Why is that peas in a America seem to melt to mush with no problem but peas in Israel don’t? What I do here is precook the peas for half an hour without the other veggies, blend and then add the other vegetables. I add a lot of mushrooms and it makes the soup very hearty and meat-like.

  7. I make pea soup almost every week for Shabbat. I cook the split peas a very long time, at least a couple of hours. I like when they’re all melted. Then I add the vegetables: carrots, sauteed onions, and sweet potato. The sweet potato gives the pea soup such a nice taste.

  8. Thanks for posting those tips, Ilana.