Sometime back I posted my go-to recipe for split pea soup and lamented the fact that it wasn't vegetarian because I start with a chicken broth base and add ham. Now, we love this soup, but our youngest is vegetarian and she misses it.
Several Mystery Lovers' Kitchen readers contacted me and pointed to a recipe online for a vegan split pea soup at The Perfect Pantry. You can find that recipe here.
Game for finding a vegetarian option, I tried it. Verdict: not bad, but not great. There was a flavor in there I didn't like. Same for our daughter. We think the thyme was misplaced, so in my version, I skip that entirely and make up for it with bay leaves and garlic powder. My husband loved it, but I thought it needed a tweak. Here's my version:
Vegetarian Split Pea soup
1 lb green split peas
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 - 3 Tbsp Hickory flavored barbecue sauce
Handful of baby carrots, added about 1-1/2 hour before serving
6 cups water
The Perfect Pantry recipe tells you to put all this in a large slow cooker set on high, then after 4 hours, transfer to a food processor to smooth it out.
Here's a photo of my attempt to do this.
It took forever for the peas to break down, and then the soup got way too thick.
Me, I much prefer to simmer this on my stove. This way the peas break down completely, and there's no messy transfer-to-a-food-processor-and-back to deal with. You'll need to keep an eye on this so that it doesn't get too thick too quickly. I found myself adding a bit more water, until the peas broke down completely.
What I found odd about the Perfect Pantry site, was their note "if you're adding smoked turkey or cooked sausage..." Umm... isn't their version supposed to be vegan? Made me a bit suspicious and so I double-checked my barbecue sauce to make sure it didn't include any meat by-products. Safe.
If you love pea soup, and you're not vegetarian, I suggest you check out either Krista's wonderful split pea soup for a rainy day Krista's split pea soup, or my favorite recipe Split pea soup.
This picture is actually of my original soup. For some reason, I can't find the photos we took of the vegetarian version. And now the entire pot is gone and I can't take a new one.
In any case, soup seems like the best answer to the cold, the snow, and the general yickiness outside these days.