Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Smoky Mushrooms

The holidays are nearly upon us and we all struggle with how to maintain a healthy eating and lifestyle pattern while enjoying the festivities of the season.   Here are three of my holiday “survival” tips, along with a favorite recipe for a hearty vegetarian soup to have on hand for these early winter weekends.

Tips for the holiday season

For the holiday season, my number one tip is to try your very best to keep on track with your regular physical activity program.  Whether it comes in the form of a short morning walk (even 10-15 minutes is better than no walk at all), a class at the gym, or even simply standing up at your desk every 15 minutes or so throughout the day to march in place and do a little stretching, physical activity is good for you unless you have a medical restriction which prevents it.

Tip number 2 – plan ahead for holiday parties.  If you know you have a big party coming up in the evening, try to eat lighter during the day in anticipation of the event.  Don’t go to parties starved – have a small snack before you go so that you will be less tempted to devour everything in sight when you get to the buffet.

Tip number 3 – drink plenty of water and pace yourself if you do drink alcohol.  For example, try alternating your drink selections. Start your evening with a seltzer or plain ice water before you move on to a glass of wine. And then, when it’s time to refill for another round, switch back to the non-alcoholic choice.  It will help you stay hydrated and stay more on track with your healthy lifestyle program.

This soup is also good to make in advance and reheat when you are in a hurry to get some lunch or dinner.  It is part of my comfort food series.

Now, for the recipe…This Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Smoky Mushrooms is a great choice for holiday weekends because you can make it a few days in advance, it is hearty and full of fiber, and is easy to make for a crowd.

Barbara Spalding RDN Culinary Dietitian

Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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Print Recipe
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Smoky Mushrooms
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 1/2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 1/2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Spray large soup pot with canola oil and sauté celery, onion and carrots for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add split peas, garlic powder, vegetable broth and 4 cups of water.
  3. Cover and cook on low-medium for 1-2 hours until peas are soft. (While it is cooking, check on the soup every 15-20 minutes, stir, and add more water if needed.)
  4. Optional step – Many recipes for split pea soup call for pureeing the soup at this stage of the recipe. I generally do not puree the soup, but leave the split peas whole. The longer they cook, the split peas will soften and start to blend together – it is really a matter of personal preference.
  5. Add potatoes and 4 more cups of water and continue to cook for another 30-45 minutes.
  6. While it is cooking, spray a small skillet with canola oil and sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with liquid smoke flavor, cover and set aside.
  7. Add mushrooms with their juice to soup prior to serving.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per serving:  170 calories;  0 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat;  0 mg cholesterol;  360 mg sodium;  32 grams carbohydrate;   12 grams dietary fiber;  11 grams protein (values are approximate).

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