Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vegan Split Pea Soup

I am constantly learning new and wonderful things about this Las Vegas community in which I've lived for nearly 11 years.  There's so much more to us than gambling and partying on the Strip.  We are a vibrant, passionate city full art and culture and a love of real food and real community.  An example of this is Vegas SOUP, a grassroots micro-grant program hosted by the Vegas Roots Community Garden (formerly the Tonopah Community Garden).  I had the privilege of attending the second Vegas SOUP dinner on March 18th, and it was a delicious and heartening event.

For a $10 donation, you get a dinner of soup and breads, and you get a vote. Community organizations present their projects, and dinner guests pick which one gets funding. Eat, listen, and vote.  We listened to four presentations that evening, and there were two winners.  The first place winner took home a grant of $400.  The second place winner walked away with a grant of $200.  Yeah... you figured it out; at $10 a pop, that place was packed!  Not only were the organizations inspiring, but the food was inspired.  We enjoyed an appetizer of Raw Tortilla Soup, made in a Vitamix right in front of our eyes.  The main course was Vegan Split Pea Soup, served with bread. As if the event's food and funding weren't enough, we received a lovely parting gift: a tree to plant AND the recipe for the split pea soup.  Talk about an hour and a half well spent!

I loved the soup so much that I stopped on the way home to pick up the ingredients and make my own batch that same night! The top picture is my version of the soup.  The bottom picture is the soup we enjoyed at the event.  As you can see, mine is quite a bit chunkier.  I also left the skins on the potatoes because there's great nutrition in them.  Either way you prepare it, you'll love the way it tastes. 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I used the jarred version.)
  • 2 cups dried split peas
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock (I used half water and half organic vegetable stock.)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy margarine

  • In a large pot over medium heat, saut√© the oil, onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add the peas and water/vegetable stock.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for another 30-40 minutes, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.
  • Add margarine and allow to melt.
  • Stir well and serve with fresh bread.
Serves 8


  1. I've been thinking about trying this recipe with lentils instead of split peas, because I have a ton of lentils in my cupboards, but I'm not sure it would turn out well. Having already sampled the split pea version, however, I can attest that it's delicious.

  2. Thanks, Becky. I'll be interested in hearing how the lentil version comes out if you decide to try it.