Homestyle Split Pea Soup

SplitPeaGFVIt’s time for a bit of a food flashback.

I had been married less than one year. We moved to a small town in Saskatchewan. I was out of my comfort zone and felt lost.

Then my mom came to visit.

I didn’t think I needed help with life but I craved some familiarity and my own family. It was a week of visiting, sharing and learning. We cooked a lot. Food and cooking is the language of closeness and therapy. It’s as comforting as a bowl of split pea soup on a winter day.

My mother taught me her old fashioned recipe for making split pea soup. A soup that I remembered wasn’t my favorite growing up. I didn’t like the chunks of ham. She taught me the way she made it. The non-vegan way of course. Ham bone and all that jazz. No judgement please. I wasn’t vegan then.

I decided to make split pea soup one weekend when I was feeling particularly far away from my family. Food can really do amazing things like cheer a person up, make them feel cozy and safe again.

Of course, a few things have changed since that first lesson in pea soupery from 12 years ago. Like the ham bone has got to go. It’s okay it was my least favorite part of the soup anyway. I was skeptical about how my vegan version of split pea soup would turn out without the ham. I even bought liquid smoke in preparation to fake the smoky flavor the ham might have given. In the end, I didn’t even use the liquid smoke. I don’t think the soup needed it at all.

This is a really inexpensive soup which is always a nice recipe to keep in your back pocket. Plus it’s comforting and nice for the the cold weather.

Homestyle Split Pea Soup

Serves 6-8
Prep time 12 hours
Cook time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time 14 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Bay Leaf, Carrots, Celery, Liquid Smoke, Split Peas, Thyme, Vegetable Stock
Season Fall, Winter


  • 2 cups split green peas
  • 10-12 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 3 ‘beef’ bouillon cubes (use only 1 cube if using vegetable stock)
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 drops liquid smoke, optional (I never used it)


1 Wash split peas, place in a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit overnight.
2 Drain peas and place in a large pot with 10 cups of water.
3 Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 2 hours. If the soup is too thick, add the remaining 2 cups of water.
4 Add in vegetables and seasonings.
5 Let simmer an additional 30 minutes until vegetables are tender and split peas are soft.
6 Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, if needed.