Pulling out the slow cooker on a Monday morning is pretty much my favorite thing. Especially in the dead of winter when all I want for dinner is something warm and comforting. It helps that the recipes you tend to make in slow cookers are just that: warm and comforting.
Like this vegetarian split pea soup.
It's soothing. It's nourishing. It's everything that you want a slow cooker meal to be.
The base of this tasty soup is obviously split peas. But what are so great about split peas you might wonder?
First, unlike what many people think, split peas are actually part of the legume family – like beans! – and are peas that have been harvested, dried and then split. Unlike many beans, split peas are super easy and quick to make at home, so if you don't have time for a slow cooker meal, this soup can also just be made on the stove (in about 30 minutes).
Split peas are really high in fiber, have a good amount of protein and also contain some good B vitamins and iron. Essentially, they're an all around awesome ingredient! And what's even better is that you can find them in almost any grocery store – either in the bulk section or in a package like the ones that Bob's Red Mill sells.
And as many dried beans, they're friendly on the wallet!
If you aren't familiar with split pea soup – which I'm sure that you probably are – it doesn't tend to be vegetarian. In fact, more often than not you'll find it loaded with meat like ham, bacon and cooked with chicken broth.
And unfortunately for those of us who are eating vegetarian this week (have you joined our challenge?), the meat is where a lot of the flavor comes from in this soup. So making a vegetarian would need a little bit of testing.
My secret weapon with imparting a rich, “meaty” flavor is….MUSHROOMS!
Mushrooms, weather fresh, dried or in broth form, are very flavorful and lend a meat-like quality to any dish. For vegetarian soups, like this split pea version, using a blend of vegetable and mushroom broths makes skipping the meat totally worth it.
In fact, I'd like to take a bet that you wouldn't even miss it!
Plus, the fact that all you have to do is just put ingredients into a slow cooker and turn it on…does it get any better?
A big bowl will warm your bones and fill your tummy with vegetarian goodness.
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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
- Add all ingredients into a slow cooker in the order listed and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 4 - 6 hours or on low for 6 - 8.
- Serve with a slice of toasted bread or your favorite salad.
If you are following along with our Vegetarian Challenge, make sure to use the hashtag #SQchallenge to share your versions of the recipes!