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Vegetarian Vegan Split Pea Soup

Updated on January 16, 2015

Delicious All-Vegan Yellow Split Pea Soup with an Indian Flair!

John and I absolutely love Indian cuisine, and for more than 14 years, we've been regulars at Shalimar of India, a truly great restaurant in North Conway, New Hampshire. One of the BEST parts of our lunches is the "Dal Soup" that is served with each lunch special. Essentially, the "Dal Soup" is a vegetarian - actually, it's vegan - yellow split pea soup with all the usual ingredients (except ham, and with added spices).

I decided to film myself making the entire soup from start to finish - and you'll see that below!

In the meantime, I also explain the steps in separate paragraphs below in case you don't want to watch the whole video. :)

This is truly an easy soup to make - all you need is time, because it does take time for 1) the split peas to cook 'til soft, and 2) the veggies to cook 'til soft. Let's get started!

Photo Credits: All the photos are taken by me, li'l ol KathyT

This Recipe is Inspired by Shalimar Indian Cuisine in North Conway, NH - our Favorite Restaurant!

This Recipe is Inspired by Shalimar Indian Cuisine in North Conway, NH - our Favorite Restaurant!
This Recipe is Inspired by Shalimar Indian Cuisine in North Conway, NH - our Favorite Restaurant!
So, we had to wing it a little...
So, we had to wing it a little...

My original notes about this yummy vegan split pea soup

Scribbled on a piece of notepaper...

So, as it turns out, you're not likely to find this particular recipe in any cookbooks (well, MAYBE you will... but I don't know where).

Over the course of the years, we've spoken to Mr. and Mrs. Singh, who own Shalimar, and they've given us rare glimpses into their kitchen.

Actually, when we visit, if it isn't too busy, we're welcomed into the kitchen to say hello.

They know exactly what we're going to order when we come in, too! :)

AND, most times when we got there, we recognize and have gotten to know some of the other regulars!

It's a wonderful place...

Here's all the Ingredients! All plant based!
Here's all the Ingredients! All plant based!

Vegan Split Pea Soup: Begin at the Beginning!

The ingredients are simple!

As you can see from the photo, there are not a lot of ingredients in the soup:

Yellow Split Peas -> 1 pound

Coconut Oil -> approx 3-4 tablespoons

Minced Garlic & Ginger (if you like ginger) -> 1 heaping tablespoon of each

Spices: (Note: This soup isn't heavy on the spices - it's a mild and flavorful soup.)

- Green Cardamon Pods -> approx 3 or 4 (use 1 or 2 more if you like a stronger cardamon flavor)

- Whole Cloves -> approx 4 or 5 (again, you can use a couple more if you like a stronger flavor)

- Ground Cumin -> approx 1 teaspoon (use more if you like a little more cumin)

- Ground Cinnamon -> approx 1/2 teaspoon

- Ground Nutmeg -> just a touch - approx 1/8 teaspoon


- Chopped Onion -> 1 heaping cup

- Chopped Carrot -> 1 heaping cup

- Chopped Celery -> 1 heaping cup

You'll also need water, and TWO soup pots. :)

Now, let's start cooking!

In the event you cannot find coconut oil for a REASONABLE cost at your local store... - Or, if your local store doesn't carry a good brand (which can happen!)..

You can easily find it online. Now, you have to understand that I go through Nutiva Coconut Oil by the gallon (as you can see in the video). And yes, I can find it at a store in North Conway, where I do the bulk of my food shopping. But, I gotta tell you - it's ridiculously high priced, and I just refuse to pay the high markup when I can save money by ordering it online. I have nothing against supporting my local stores, but the more I save on certain items, the more I can spend at those stores on OTHER items! :) Like my logic?

Nutiva Organic, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined, Virgin Coconut Oil from Fresh, non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Coconuts, 15-ounce (Pack of 2)
Nutiva Organic, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined, Virgin Coconut Oil from Fresh, non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Coconuts, 15-ounce (Pack of 2)

This is the ONLY coconut oil I use. Again, I buy it by the gallon, so I'll show you that option as well. But, if you're not going to use as much as I do, this might be fine.

Cook the Peas Separately
Cook the Peas Separately

First, Cook the Peas in their OWN POT

There's a reason for this...

It's best to cook your peas first, in a separate pot. The reason is because split peas tend to thicken and "sink" quickly and burn at the bottom of the pan long before the veggies are softened.

So, what I do is:

1) Sort and rinse the peas - watch for little rocks/stones! Rinse them about 5-6 times until the water runs clear.

2) Start with about 2 quarts of water.

3) Bring to boil - and WATCH FOR FOAM (see next photo!)

4) After about 45 minutes, be sure to check and make sure they aren't burning. Add more water if necessary.

5) Cook until they are SOFT.

6) If you like, you can puree the peas. It IS nice... Not necessary, but sometimes, it's a nice feature.

I BARELY caught this before it boiled over! :) It's ok to cook uncovered...

I BARELY caught this before it boiled over! :) It's ok to cook uncovered...
I BARELY caught this before it boiled over! :) It's ok to cook uncovered...
Cook the spices and veggies in water until SOFT
Cook the spices and veggies in water until SOFT

Now, Cook the Rest of it in the OTHER Pot

You'll cook these for a couple hours...

Time to cook up the spices and veggies!

1) Heat the Coconut Oil in the veggie pot.

2) Add the Garlic & Ginger, and stir for a few seconds.

3) Add the rest of the spices - the Cardamon, Cloves, Cumin, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg, and stir for a few more seconds.

4) Add the Onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

5) Add the Carrots and Celery and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

6) Add about a quart of water, and simmer for at least an hour. YOU MAY NEED MORE WATER!

The trick here is to simmer these veggies until they are VERY soft. That may take a couple of hours. That's fine - just make sure there's enough water in there!

While the Soup's Cooking, I'm Just Curious... - You don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy this soup...

So, tell me! Do you enjoy split pea soup in general? If so, which is your preference?

What - if any - type of split pea soup is your favorite?

See results
Soup is about ready!
Soup is about ready!

Now, COMBINE the Two Pots into ONE

This is the easy part!

Once you're satisfied that everything is soft and ready to go, combine the cooked split peas and the cooked veggies (and the water they have cooked in).

Go ahead and simmer it together to let the flavors blend a bit. Again, watch to ensure the soup doesn't stick!

Add salt to taste (for some reason, adding salt really adds a certain something).

And you are ready to serve!

TaDa! Ready to Serve!

TaDa! Ready to Serve!
TaDa! Ready to Serve!

Need an Extra Pot in the Kitchen? - A kitchen can't have too many stock pots!

Actually, you might laugh, but down in our basement, we have no fewer than a dozen large pots - we find them all the time at yard sales and just can't help buying them. Some of our favorites are Farberware (I received a whole set as a wedding gift).

Also, I grew up with Revere Ware, and have amassed quite a collection of THOSE pots and pans as well!

You think I'm joking, don't you? I'll prove it to you... see the next photos...

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 6-Quart Covered Stockpot
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 6-Quart Covered Stockpot

A 6-quart is fine for the veggies... And, actually we have all sorts - 6-quart, we have 8-quart (But... I don't think we have a 12-quart... yet!) :)


You thought I was exaggerating, didn't you? Seriously, we have even MORE!!

You thought I was exaggerating, didn't you? Seriously, we have even MORE!!
You thought I was exaggerating, didn't you? Seriously, we have even MORE!!

If This Page Has Inspired You... - Perhaps you'd like to try a little Vegetarian Indian Cooking too!

I've gotten a number of Indian cookbooks over the years, but specifically sought out some that are vegetarian. Check these out!

Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking

I have this book (well, a little older than THIS edition!) in my kitchen. This is almost like a course! Yamuna Devi goes into GREAT detail in this book, and I consider it a classic, and a must-have for my shelf!

Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes
Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes

Now, I don't have this book (yet!), but it is getting RAVE reviews. Anupy Singla does have another book on Indian Slow Cooker Recipes that I'm eager to try, and that one gets great reviews too.


Here Is the Full Video of the Recipe!

I filmed pretty much the entire process of making this vegetarian split pea soup from start to finish! Here it is!

Since we're on the topic of Indian Food and Indian Restaurants... - John & I watched this movie and LOVE IT!!!

If you are in the mood for a REALLY upbeat, heartwarming and just downright GOOD movie - and even if you don't happen to particularly enjoy Indian food - I MUST recommend this movie, called "Today's Special."

Open up a package of poppadums (or, as my friends call them - "poppers") and some chutney, and tune into this movie. Prepare to laugh, and to just thoroughly enjoy this beautiful slice of life!

Today's Special
Today's Special

So, in a nutshell, Samir (played by Aasif Mandvi) is a sous chef at a fancy-schmancy restaurant, and has high hopes of becoming one of the top chefs - BUT, is sorely disappointed that he is passed over.

He is highly insulted, and leaves. However, during this, his dad's small Indian restaurant will have to shut down unless he helps (I am NOT going to give away the whole storyline here! No spoilers!).

BUT, Samir can't cook Indian food. Nor does he want to. No interest in it - no sir... Samir has big plans. :)

Anyway, watch and see what happens. You will LOVE the "regulars" at the restaurant, and you will fall in love with every character. It's such an uplifting movie, that I've just talked myself into watching it again! :)

Oh... added bonus! When I saw the name "Madhur Jaffrey" in the cast (she plays Samir's mom), I thought, "Could it be? Is this the same Madhur Jaffrey whose cookbooks I have here at home!?" It sure is! :)

Watch this movie. I'm smiling even as I write this... One of the best I think I've ever enjoyed.

Sharwood Plain Puppodums 94g
Sharwood Plain Puppodums 94g

If you've never had "poppers," you're in for a treat! Poppadums (or poppodoms) are a lentil cracker (no wheat). John and I simply put them on a cookie sheet under a low broiler for a few seconds until they "pop" up - they get a little puffy and crisp. Then we break them up and eat them with any variety of yummy chutneys! Sharwood is only one of many brands. Poke around and see what varieties you might enjoy!


:) Update 6/24/13

I was so stunned and honored by today's Lens of the Day feature, and it was all I could do to concentrate at work! :) THANK YOU ALL for your kindness, your wonderful visits and comments! BTW: I ate lunch at Shalimar the other day, and showed Mr. & Mrs. Singh this page - they're going to critique it and let me know how close I am! :) Hugs, Kath

Sometimes I earn some money from my pages on this website!

Hi everyone! If you decide to purchase any of the items I feature on this yummy page, please know that I'll get a little commission - and if you DO purchase, well... I'll be tickled pink, and thanking you from the bottom of my heart! :)

I love visitors and comments! Please let me know what you thought of my attempts to share this vegetarian style of split pea soup! All visitors are welcome to comment! Thanks so much for stopping by!

So, what did you think?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love pea soup and have made both versions, vegan and non vegan, both I must admit I do like. I love some of the spices you use in your recipe, definitely a different twist and may try the next time!

    • Yamin Joe profile image

      Yamin Joe 

      5 years ago

      I love pea soup,especially Indian style.

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 

      5 years ago from Johanesburg

      Nice healthy yummy lens ,thanks for sharing

    • pshinde2109 lm profile image

      pshinde2109 lm 

      5 years ago

      I make this dal(we call in india) and you publish it very nicely....nice lense

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Split-pea soup is one of my favorites, I think it is great that there is a vegetarian recipe too.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      That was a great recipe. Congrats on receiving LOTD

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I love split pea soup and look forward to trying your recipe...sounds divine!

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Looks delicious. Congrats on your LOTD. I got my first recently, and know exactly how you felt not being able to concentrate at work.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      wow...Really Happy that you like indian Food...Keep on exploring :)

      Btw nice post



    • kristalulabelle profile image


      5 years ago from Wisconsin

      I LOVE traditional pea soup, I can imagine this twist tastes just as fabulous, if not better! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      This soup sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I will try this. While I'm not a strict vegetarian, I'm not at all fond of ham and all that salt. I see you've recovered some very nice old Revereware pots in your basement. I have a nice collection from my Grandmother and Mother. The copper bottom is great for evenly distributing heat. Thanks for the recipe!

    • jemacb profile image


      5 years ago

      I am drooling after this lens. haha. Thanks.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm from India and I absolutely loved the way you cooked it.... :-)

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 

      5 years ago from California

      Congratulations on LOTD. We have a place in California that is called Anderson's and is famous for their split pea soup. We try to stop there on a road trip going south.

    • carter-potter profile image


      5 years ago

      This looks really delicious, thank you for sharing with us!

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Congrats. This is a great recipe.

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      I LOVE Indian dals and I'll bet this split pea soup is delicious. One of my favorites is Red Split Lentils with Cumin Seed which includes sizzled whole cumin seeds (nothing smells better!) as well as ground fresh ginger, turmeric and ground coriander seeds (another favorite) and cayenne, topped with chopped fresh chopped coriander. Loved this lens. Congratulations on your LofD!

    • bobnolley lm profile image

      bobnolley lm 

      5 years ago

      Great looking lens! Congrats on your LOTD!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Yum Yum Yum. This looks delicious, and your directions are wonderful. Congratulations on receiving the LOTD.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Congratulations on your LoTD. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very cool recipe. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • RawBill1 profile image


      5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Congrats on LOTD. Awesome to see another Vegan Lens taking out the prize. I love Indian food but we rarely eat out anywhere, most of the time I eat a raw vegan diet, but if I have something cooked it usually has lentils or split peas or similar in it. Looks delicious!

    • Ash2013 profile image


      5 years ago

      Great inspiration, I will try this during the week! Thanks

    • KentuckyGal LM profile image

      KentuckyGal LM 

      5 years ago

      My family are confirmed carnivores, but I'm always looking for ways to increase our veggie intake...especially since we are moving to a house with a huge garden area! Congrats on LOTD! I had fun reading and looking and salivating at the pictures too! *lol*

    • SevenSistersRoses profile image


      5 years ago

      I like Indian and love slit pea soup. Delish!

    • jlshernandez profile image


      5 years ago

      The only type of split pea soup I ever had is split pea soup with ham. This will be worth a try.

    • inagreement1 lm profile image

      inagreement1 lm 

      5 years ago


      In no way I could be a vegetarian, but I love Split Pea Soup with ham.


    • Nutrisimohealth profile image


      5 years ago

      I just recently made a vegetarian split pea soup. It was so delicious. Great lens!!

    • katiecolette profile image


      5 years ago

      Great job on the lens, the photos, and your YouTube video. I am pinning this lens to my Pinterest Food board and a group Food board. Will be definitely trying out your recipe :)

    • trying2Bhealthy profile image


      5 years ago

      This looks really good. I just might give it a try. Thanks. Great lens.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love split pea soup, and will definitely be trying your recipe!

    • choosehappy profile image


      5 years ago from US

      I've never had split pea soup of any kind but wanted to say congrats on lotd!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm not a real fan of pea soup, Mom used to make it but I just never have and have never had the yellow version. So, its fun to hear your enthusiasm for making your Shalimar version. I'm guessing with the extra virgin coconut oil that you have a bit of the coconut taste in the soup, which has to add to the flavor in such a nice way. I love how you just carry on when the camera that's healthy living along with healthy eating....congratulations for all the honors...Good Veg win, LotD and purple star....I'm doing the dance of joy with you! :)

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      This lens is all of the things that Bonnie says it should be so I am not surprised to find you won the LOTD.

      To make it better this is a great recipe that just about anyone should be able to make at home and its healthy too, just don't go to heavy on the salt!

    • ConnieGreen LM profile image

      ConnieGreen LM 

      5 years ago

      I just made a pot of homemade pea soup last night, so this lens came at the perfect time - thanks!

    • hkhollands profile image


      5 years ago

      This pea soup looks and sounds delicious. I almost can smell it simmering. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Jogalog profile image


      5 years ago

      I love these type of soups. Indian is one of my favourite cuisines. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • marktplaatsshop profile image


      5 years ago

      I love split pea soup, you can wake me up for it, congratulations on LotD, I enjoyed reading

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      5 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      This is quite similar to a recipe that I make without the same spices. Pea soup is one of my favorites. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love Indian cooking, specially Indian deserts. Great lens.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      I'm sure I will love this soup. Excellent instructions and presentation. Congrats on LotD! Very happy to see you honored in this way.

    • delia-delia profile image


      5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I'm not a fan of pea soup but I have to say this sound delicious.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to write your recipes. It's not easy to change our way of eating. We need people like continue. I have tried your soup and it's delicious!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Congratulations Kathy on a well-deserved Lens of the Day! Your recipe looks fantastic:)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Wow! It looks delicious and nutritious!

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image


      5 years ago

      I will definitely give this a try! I love Split pea soup. Great job and congrats on LOTD! Have a nice day!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice! I love split pea soup.

    • writerkath profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @jeskasight: I'm so pleased you like it! And thank you for being the one who alerted me that I won LOTD - What a wonderful way to wake up!!

    • writerkath profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Rhonda Lytle: Thank you so much! I was stunned to wake up and see a couple of comments congratulating me on LOTD! Totally unexpected! :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 

      5 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Congratulations of LOTD! Most deserved. This looks like a culinary adventure. I can't wait to give it a try.

    • jeskasight profile image


      5 years ago

      Great step-by-step recipe! Especially love the fact that it is vegan. Congrats on LOTD!

    • wiseriverman profile image


      5 years ago

      I have always loved split pea soup but often have to turn it down because of the ham or stock. I'm going to bookmark this and make it this coming autumn. Thanks!!


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