Yellow Split Pea Soup with Creme Fraiche & Torn Croutons

This hearty vegetarian soup is loaded with protein and flavor and makes a satisfying meal.

This hearty vegetarian soup is loaded with fiber and plant-based protein. For a bigger nutrient boost, stir in one 10-oz bag of baby spinach, kale or arugula during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Thawed frozen broccoli, cauliflower or winter squash are other good last-minute add-ins. The torn croutons add panache; if you don’t have the time or energy to make them, skip this step and serve the stew with chunks of rustic whole-grain bread instead.

Prep Time
20 min
380 min


Split pea soup

  • 1 lb dried yellow split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large leek (white and light green parts only), trimmed and sliced crosswise
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp organic unsalted butter, melted, or olive oil
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper + additional to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 large sprigs fresh thyme, divided
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche


  • 1/2 small (12-oz) whole-grain boule or whole-grain sourdough
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


1. In a large zip-top freezer bag or freezer-safe glass container, combine split peas, carrots, leek, celery, butter, garlic, pepper, bay leaves and 5 thyme sprigs. Press out as much air as possible, seal and freeze for up to 2 months.

2. To cook, remove bag from freezer and let stand in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a slow cooker along with broth and cook on low for 6 hours. Season with salt and additional pepper.

3. Make croutons: About 20 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 400°F. Tear bread roughly into large pieces (each about 1½ inches); arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Bake until golden and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

4. To serve, remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Divide among bowls. Pull leaves off remaining thyme sprig and sprinkle over servings. Drizzle with crème fraîche and top with croutons.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories 567
  • Carbohydrate Content 77 g
  • Cholesterol Content 32 mg
  • Fat Content 20 g
  • Fiber Content 24 g
  • Protein Content 21 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 9 g
  • Sodium Content 561 mg
  • Sugar Content 9.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g