Spectacular Simple Smoky Split Pea Soup

Before I get to today’s post, I’m excited to tell you about the free live webinar series I’m offering–starting tonight! (Thursday, February 19, 2015).  Based on reader questions, I’ll begin talking about candida and why it’s more than just sugar cravings; then move to other topics such as how to deal with cravings or stick with it for the long haul. If you think you might be dealing with candida or just want to cut refined sugar from your life, I hope you’ll join me! There will be a live Q&A at the end. If people enjoy the videos, I’ll continue them as a regular feature. Get more details and reserve your seat here.]

Sugar-free, glutn-free split pea soup recipe on rickiheller.com

The hardest part about this vegan split pea soup is saying the name out loud three times (go on, try it. . . betcha can’t). Tongue-twisters aside, this was one of the most delicious soups the HH and I have ever had. And it is so EASY to make–woop woop!

I’ve made split pea soup exactly one time before this one–when I was in my early 20s and had just moved into my very first apartment on my own.

Pop Quiz! Multiple Choice Question: When your dad is a butcher and you move out of the house, what do you get as a housewarming gift?

(a) a set of professional-quality knives

(b) a glazed ham

(c) chopping boards

(d) All of the above

So, once I was the new owner of a set of profressional knives, a glazed ham and three chopping boards, I had to figure out what to do with them. I was not personally a fan of ham, so I decided to cook up something for my (then) new boyfriend, Spaghetti Ears, and made the only recipe I’d ever heard that used chunks of ham: split pea soup.

I pulled out the new cookbook I’d just received (housewarming gift from my mom) and huge stockpot I’d just gotten (housewarming gift from my aunt) and set to work. A mere 12 hours later, I had a slew of authentic pea soup and ham!

My boyfriend was thrilled with the soup (and the fact that his new girlfriend cooked for him). And since I unwittingly cooked up enough soup for a family of 17, he had soup for a very long time to follow.

Anti-candida, gluten-free, vegan split pea soup recipe

When I finished up this 2015-era pot of pea soup and served it to the HH, he was equally pleased with the final result (he long ago got used to the idea that I’ll cook for him).

I was especially proud of my brilliant insight to add a splash of liquid smoke for that authentic “smoked ham” flavor.

As he spooned up the last bits from his bowl, I asked, “So, does that taste like it has ham in it?”

Spoon aloft mid-way to his mouth, the HH stopped to ponder for a few seconds. “Well, it’s pretty close,” he said, and deposited the spoon in his mouth. “But you know what would make it really taste like it had ham in it?”

“What?” I asked.

“Putting some ham in it,” he said.

I almost shot back, “I don’t need to–there’s a real HAM sitting right across from me.” But since the soup was a hit, I decided not to push my luck.

This recipe also makes a large potful, though not as much as my first attempt. We enjoyed this Spectacular Simple Smoky Split Pea Soup for the rest of the week, quite happily (and sans actual ham).

Candida diet, gluten-free easy smoky pea soup on rickiheller.com

“Hey, Mum, look–I can be a ham, too! So as a reward, will you give me some real ham? Pleeeeeeze?”

Elsie hoping for food on rickiheller.com

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  1. Oh the HH is funny! (I do like to say you are what you eat when E has a ham sandwich – luckily not often so I don’t have to see him eat it and he doesn’t have to put up with the joke.) Love pea soup and the addition of sundried tomato sounds really good – I can’t make split pea soup without smoked paprika any more! I tried some split pea soup with a faux baloney last year and wonder if some tofu bacon might be good in it!

  2. I knew that’s what the HH was going to say, Ricki!! I’ve never used liquid smoke but I’ve heard that adding even a bit of barbecue sauce can add that smoky, meaty flavor when needed. In any regard, I have long been a fan of good split pea soup and this one looks divine! Sadly, I’m the only one in my family who likes it though. So making this recipe might be the equivalent of your earlier version for 17. 😉 I need to poll my friends, find the split pea lovers, and invite them over for your soup!


  3. “Putting some ham in it”. LOL. I need to try this recipe. I’m going to crave split pea soup until I do now! And I can’t say Spectacular Simple Smoky Split Pea Soup 3 times fast. 🙂 Not even once. Haha.

  4. Haha this was funny! Great post! Love soup especially when it’s -9 degrees here tonight (wind chill -24) ugh!! I’ll probably split the recipe and add eeewww Ham to his! lol

    Thanks again for an enjoyable read and great recipe.


  5. Hey Ricki,

    This pea soup looks soooooo yummy, I have to try making this. I love how you make your posts, even a simple recipe post, so entertaining and funny. I can just hear HH saying his dry with line…”Putting some ham in it.” He’s so lucky to have you making him such healthy, delicious food! And love the happy doggy too.

  6. Thanks for posting this! My mom is a huge fan of split pea soup, but I’ve never liked putting vegan bacon in it for the “ham” flavor. Liquid smoke is a perfect substitute, and I never would have thought to add the sundried tomatoes.

    • I’ve never tried it with vegan ham (I tend not to eat faux meats), but I did really love the smoky flavor from the liquid smoke. Hope your mom (and you) like it, too! 😀

      • Hello 🙂 I’ve been an off and on vegetarian most of my life and have tried MANY of the meat alternatives (Worthington, Cedar Lake, Morningstar Farms, Boca, etc). I almost had to explain apologetically to family and friends when I was on one of my vegetarian kicks that I was using a fake meat. It was embarrassing at times. Finally with all the influx of vegan and vegetarian choices on the market, I started thinking…Why should it be embarrassing? What finally helped me really enjoy them is to stop calling them fake or faux meats. They really aren’t even close to meat so when I thought of them as such, they always fell short and were disappointing. So once I started thinking of them as a Protein Choice instead of a fake meat, they became an item I could choose from a vast variety of meal additives. No more embarrassment or disappointment. I hope that helps. 🙂

        • Great points, Cheryl! I do call them faux meats, but I actually never eat the ones that are supposed to be “like” meat–I much prefer ALL veggie burgers (as I say here). And I agree–we should NEVER be embarrassed for eating healthy veg-based foods@ 😀

  7. I made this recipe yesterday and it was a big hit with my family! Thanks! 🙂


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