Smoky Split Pea Soup

For my birthday earlier this year, one of the gifts that my mom gave me was a cookbook from Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market.   This market is located in San Diego, California and is one of the places that I love to go to when I am home visiting my mom.  People’s has all sorts of wonderful local and organic produce and veggie friendly products.  They also have a deli featuring a wide range of freshly prepared vegan and vegetarian foods.

Since I don’t get down to People’s as much as I would like to, I was thrilled to get a copy of their deli’s cookbook.  The cookbook contains recipes for everything from Kung Pao Tofu to Agave Sweetened Zucchini Bread.  However, despite the many creative and delicious looking dishes in this cookbook, I had not made anything from its pages in months.   Not wanting this trend to continue, I recently flipped through the cookbook and found a recipe that I had the ingredients for on hand.

I’ll be the first to admit, their spilt pea soup is not the most daring or creative recipe in the book, but it was still very good.  And there is really nothing better on a cold fall evening then a steaming bowl of homemade soup.   This split pea soup is no exception.   The mixture of the naturally smoky split peas, fragrant ground rosemary, and chunky vegetables made for a hearty and delicious entrée.  So if the chill of oncoming winter is getting you down, give this soothing soup a try!

Smoky Split Pea Soup

Adapted slightly from Ocean Beach People’s Deli Cookbook

  • 2 cups split peas
  • 6 cups water
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 small stocks of celery, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin*
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, ground
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • salt and pepper

Place the peas, bay leaves and water into a large pot.   Over medium heat, bring the peas and water to a boil.  Once boiling, partially cover the pot and lower the heat.  Simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes or until the peas are very soft and mash easily.   Lower the heat if pot starts to boil over.

While the peas cook, put one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan.  Add onions and cook until they soften and turn translucent.  Add the diced celery and carrots, soy sauce, mirin, rosemary, and celery seed and cook until vegetables are tender.

Once the peas are soft add the vegetable mixture to the pot.  Simmer soup for another 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.

* Mirin is a sweet tasting rice wine and adds a slightly sweet flavor to the soup.  Check the Asian food section at your supermarket.  If you can’t find it, you can probably just leave it out.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

Nothing better than a hearty and delicious homemade soup!

Easy Rating


Four Easy Chairs (“ABC, Easy as 123…”!)

While this soup does take a little while to cook, the prep is pretty limited.

Healthy Rating


Five Apples (My Body is My Temple!)

This soup is high in fiber, low in fat and provides a good amount of protein.

Green Rating


Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)

The produce was organic, but the peas were not.
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