Ham or Vegetarian? 2 Ways to Make Split Pea Soup

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Split pea soup is a simple thing—not a lot to it other than the dried peas, some aromatics, a little broth… Oh, and a ham bone. Just like this luscious soup Faith wrote about yesterday, classic split pea soup gets it depth of flavor from a ham hock. All fine and good unless you’re a vegetarian, right? Well, we’ve got recipes (and tips) to satisfy both sides.

Vegetarian split pea soup is even easier, when you’re thinking about it from a shopping standpoint (we find that ham hocks can be hard to come by outside of the South). But you may want to make a few substitutions to give it extra body.

Some suggestions:
• If the recipe calls for water, use vegetable broth.
• Add a salty garnish (Stephanie adds grilled cheese croutons; another recipe below calls for chopped olives) or a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
• Add a sprinkle of truffle salt or smoked paprika.
• Or, just enjoy it as a simple, clean vegetable soup that it is. Nothing wrong with that.

Split Pea Soup, from the Kitchn (above, left).
Split Pea Soup, from Simply Recipes.
Split Pea Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons, from Gourmet.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, from the Kitchn (above, right).
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup, from 101 Cookbooks.
Yellow Split Pea Soup, also from 101 Cookbooks.

(Images: Kathryn Hill; Stephanie Barlow)