Easy Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Barley

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Barley

A soul-warming and delicious vegetarian split pea soup featuring smoked paprika and hearty pearl barley.


2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1 large onion, diced small

2 carrots, peeled and diced small

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 ½ cups yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed

4 cups vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups water

Pinch of baking soda

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Cooked pearl barley for serving (see note)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, smoked paprika and rosemary and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add split peas, broth, water, baking soda and bay leaf to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook until peas are very tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.

  3. Add soy sauce and parsley and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with pearl barley and serve.



I like to cook barley using the pasta method:  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add barley and season with salt.  Cook until the barley is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Drain and enjoy!

Keywords: easy, split peas, vegetarian, vegan, smoked paprika, barley, Nordic, soup