Vegetarian Vegan Split Pea Soup
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!
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...
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?
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.
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...
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?
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!
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...
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!!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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
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