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Vegan Split Pea Soup Revitalized with a Southern Comfort Twist

As the sun starts setting earlier, the temperature drops, and you're feeling chilly, nothing will warm you up from the inside out like a warm and spiced bowl of soup! This Southern Comfort Split Pea Soup will do the trick!

I'm excited to share this recipe with you because split peas are so nutritious and are an excellent protein alternative to beans.

Yellow split peas are used all over the world, but mostly in northern India where they're called "matar daal." Split peas are also used to make English pease pudding, dhal in the Guyana region, Iranian khoresh gheymeh, sweet snacks in Beijing, and appetizers in Greece and other European countries.

In the U.S. we really only see one dish made with split peas, and that's split pea soup.

Of course, the recipes vary, but overall they're pretty similar. Green split peas with onion, carrots, celery, mild seasoning, and often bacon or ham. You can try my plant-based version of this Traditional Split Pea Soup. (The photos are not very good, but the flavor is super yummy!)

However, if we want to incorporate more split peas into our diet, we need to find more ways to prepare them to keep us interested and our taste buds satisfied.

Sweet potato, corn, and collard greens, along with a few specific herbs and spices give this split pea soup a Southern flair!

I think you'll find it refreshing take on an old-time favorite!

If you like this recipe and others here at The Culinary Gym, please do them share them with others and spread the news about how healthy plant foods can be remarkable delicious!


Southern Comfort Split Pea Soup

By Chef Katie Mae

Makes about 4 servings | Ready in 30­–60 minutes | Stores 1 week in fridge 



  • 1 small onion, diced (4 oz)
  • 1½ cups yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 4–6 cups water**
  • ½ tablespoon garlic granules
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped into 1-in pieces (8 oz)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (4 oz)
  • ¾ cup corn (optional) (4 oz)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 large collard leaves, thinly sliced in ribbons (4 oz)



  1. Add the water and split peas to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic granules, dried herbs, and spices.
  2. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook the peas at a strong simmer/light boil for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. After 45 minutes, or when the peas are looking close to your desired consistency, add the sweet potatoes and bell pepper. Continue to simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender when poked with a fork, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the corn, nutritional yeast, and collards. Simmer for 5 more minutes to warm everything up. Serve warm or chilled.



  1. Add the split peas, water, onion, garlic granules, dried herbs, and spices to the Instant Pot, or another electric pressure cooker.
  2. Set the mode to manual and set the timer to 4 minutes. Seal the lid and close the pressure valve.
  3. Once the 4-minute timer has gone off, carefully release the pressure valve, making sure your hand and fingers are not over the valve.
  4. When you can, open the pot and stir in the sweet potato, bell pepper, corn, and nutritional yeast. Then add the collards, but just let them rest on top of the soup.
  5. Close the lid again and make sure the pressure valve is closed. Cancel the previous settings and then turn on manual mode. Set the timer for 1 minute.
  6. When the timer goes off, carefully release the pressure and open the pot as soon as you’re able to, to prevent overcooking. Let the soup cool for a 5 minutes before serving.



The water amount depends on the cooking method, how long it cooks for, and how thick you want your soup. On the stovetop, I use 6 cups of water, but in the pressure cooker, I only use 4 cups.

The longer you cook for the split peas and sweet potato, the creamier they’re going to be. If you want a creamier soup, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

When using the Instant Pot, if you find the sweet potatoes are not fully cooked when you open the Instant Pot for the second time then repeat steps 5 and 6.

If you like a little more heat, after serving, feel free to drizzle your favorite hot sauce over your soup. I also like to sprinkle on a little extra nutritional yeast.


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