This yellow split pea soup is so easy to make and it’s packed with tons of delicious plant-based protein. It’s made with just a handful of pantry ingredients and after a bit of chopping, you’ll have this simmering on the stovetop or cooking in the pressure cooker in no time!

yellow split pea soup

This hearty split pea soup is one of my favorite recipes to make because my whole family loves it, even our 9 year old foster son! It’s budget-friendly and I can get everything cooking in a matter of minutes. Lately, I’ve been loving making it in my Instant Pot!

Are yellow split peas good for you?

Yellows split peas are a great source of fiber and protein. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, it’s an excellent way to get lots of plant-based protein. I buy them in the bulk bins, so they’re also affordable. I always keep a bag in the pantry and this soup is the ultimate pantry staple dinner!

What’s the difference between green split peas and yellow split peas?

Not much! Both yellow and green split peas are full of protein and fiber. They have similar cooking times, too! Green split peas tend to have a slightly sweeter flavor. You can actually use either type of split pea in this recipe. I used yellow, which is why my soup is more golden in color.

Split Pea Soup

Are split peas healthy?

Yes! Split peas are a great source of plant-based protein. They also have a lot of fiber so this is a recipe that will keep you full for a long time. As an added bonus, they tend to be very cheap! You can usually find split peas in the bulk bins at the grocery store, or in bags near the dried beans.

How to Make Split Pea Soup on the Stovetop

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes until the onions started getting soft and translucent. Stir frequently so they don’t brown. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.

onion in a pot

Add the vegetable stock and split peas. Let simmer for about an hour or until the peas are soft. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do it in a blender or food processor. Just let the soup cool slightly before blending.

How to Make Split Pea Soup in an Instant Pot

Using the “sauté” option, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes until the onions started getting soft and translucent. Stir frequently so they don’t brown. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and split peas. Set the pressure cooker on manual for 16 minutes.

split pea soup

After 16 minutes, quick-release the pressure. Once the pot has depressurized, remove the lid and stir the soup. If you want a smoother consistency, blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Do I need to blend the soup after cooking?

This one is a personal preference! In the photo above, you can see what the soup looks like without any additional blending. Because the ingredients are cooked down, it’s thick and slightly chunky. If you prefer a silky soup, transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

What’s the best way to serve yellow split pea soup?

Sometimes I’ll serve this soup with a salad or a loaf of crusty bread, but it’s pretty filling on its own! It also reheats well, so it’s perfect to make on Sunday and then dish out for lunch during the week.

Is it safe to blend hot soup?

If you’re blending soup in a blender, it’s important to allow steam to escape. That’s why blender lids have a vent. Be sure that vent is open! Then cover the lid with a towel to prevent soup from splattering. An immersion blender can be a safer and easier option because you don’t have to transfer hot soup into a blender. That’s my personal preference! Do not try to use a bullet-style blender to blend hot soup, or it can explode.

A bowl of soup

Variations and Substitutions

  • I used opinion and carrot as the base of this soup but if you wanted to use a traditional mirepoix blend, you could add celery to the mix.
  • You can use green or yellow split peas. They have a similar taste, so whatever you find at the grocery store will work just fine!
  • I highly recommend using a vegetarian “chicken style” broth. These tend to have a lot more flavor than vegetable broth. My favorite brands are Ocean’s Halo boxed broth and Edward & Son’s bollion cubes.
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Split Pea Soup

Yellow Split Pea Soup

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop/Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Soup

Description

This delicious yellow split pea soup is an easy pantry staple dinner. Loaded with protein and fiber, this budget-friendly dinner is a great meal prep recipe!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (see note)
  • 2 cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Stovetop Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute
  2. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes until the onions started getting soft and translucent. Stir frequently so they don’t brown.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and split peas.
  5. Let simmer for about a hour or until the peas are soft.
  6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it’s chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do it in a blender or food processor. Just let the soup cool slightly before blending.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Directions

  1. Using the “sauté” option, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute
  2. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes until the onions started getting soft and translucent. Stir frequently so they don’t brown.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and split peas.
  5. Set the pressure cooker on manual for 16 minutes.
  6. After 16 minutes, quick-release the pressure.
  7. Once the pot has depressurized, remove the lid and stir the soup. If you want a smoother consistency, blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Notes

I prefer to use “not-chicken” broth for this type of recipe. Edward & Sons and Imagine Foods are both great! But you can use vegetable broth, if you prefer.

Also, the main difference between green and yellow split peas is the color, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand!

Keywords: yellow split pea soup

Craving more vegan soup recipes? Here are a few of my other favorites!

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

This post was originally published in October 2012. Updated November 2019.