Lets get cooking!
Before giving up pork, split pea soup was one of my favorite winter recipes. It is warm, hearty, and so complex thanks to the smoke flavor, which in traditional recipes, was compliments of ham or bacon. When I tried to make my first vegan split pea soup by doing away with the pork, well… it fell flat. Just split peas, carrots, and celery was too simple. It lacked the flavor that the traditional recipe was famous for.
Enter… LIQUID SMOKE.
I discovered this stuff at a little pizza cafe back home where they use it to flavor their gouda cheese, to give it that signature smokey flavor (its to die for). The kind shop owner kindly divulged her secret and on the drive home I was not only filled to the brim with pizza, but also recipe writing day dreams. I already had big plans for this potent liquid. Starting with my beloved split pea soup. It adds the oomph back to this recipe and I bet your non-vegan friends and family won’t even notice the ham is missing.
Actually, I promise they won’t notice :)
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 onion, roughly shopped
- 1 lb. Split Peas (about 2 cups)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke depending on taste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional for serving:
- Pimenton or Smoked Paprika
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, and split peas to a large soup pot. Add 8 cups of water and stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove lid and add in the liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly. Blend the soup, in batches if needed, until smooth. Return to the bowl to heat up to your desired serving temperature. Serve as is or top with croutons and pimenton.
- For a gluten-free and grain-free recipe, do not garnish with croutons.