Recipes » Soups » Cauliflower Split Pea Soup
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

Thick and creamy, with a luscious texture, this is my son’s all-time favorite soup. What I love about it is its reliance on homely, common vegetables and how simple and fast it is to make.

This recipe is from Cathy’s cookbook Love the Foods That Love You Back.


  • 1½ pounds green split peas
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (reserve a portion for garnish, if you like)
  • 1 large onion, large diced
  • 2 large carrots, large diced
  • 3 stalks celery, large diced
  • 4–6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2–3 bay leaves
  • 1 leek, large diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 russet potatoes, large diced
  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, leaves and stems, cut in 2-inch slices
  • Red miso paste (optional)
  • Freshly ground white pepper


  • Steamed or roasted cauliflower florets
  • Dusting of nutritional yeast
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Vegan Greek-style yogurt
  • Scallion green strips or chives
  • Sprinkle of mild Aleppo chili flakes or shichimi tōgarashi spice blend


  • 1. Rinse and soak the split peas for a minimum of 8 hours. To save time, you can instead boil them for 2 minutes and steep for 1 hour. Drain and set them aside.
  • 2. If you choose to use cauliflower florets as a garnish, lightly steam or dry roast some cauliflower now (see steps 7 and 8 for presentation ideas).
  • 3. In a large soup pot, dry sauté the onion, carrots, and celery over low heat, stirring occasionally, as the vegetables gently sweat. Add a small amount of the broth as they begin to dry and stick to the pot.
  • 4. Add the bay leaves, leek, and garlic, stir to combine, and cook for a minute. Stir in the cauliflower, potatoes, and soaked split peas, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • 5. Add enough broth to cover all the vegetables by 1 to 2 inches. Simmer on low for a minimum of 30 minutes (the longer it cooks the creamier it becomes). Stir occasionally.
  • 6. When the vegetables are nearly tender, toss in the chard and cook for the final 15 minutes. Season with miso to taste, stirring it well to dissolve into the soup.
  • 7. If you’re in the mood for a chunky, rustic soup, simply serve the soup as is, with a fresh grind of black pepper, a dusting of nutritional yeast, and some fresh parsley on top.
  • 8. For a creamier texture and formal presentation, blend the soup using an immersion blender (or transfer the soup in batches to a stand blender) before serving. Garnish with the reserved cauliflower florets, chopped parsley, and a dollop of the Vegan Greek-style yogurt. Alternatively, have fun creating a floral tableau using the florets, chives, or scallions, and a sprinkle of Aleppo chili flakes or shichimi tōgarashi spice blend.

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