Smokey Canadiana Split Pea Soup

Made with split peas, smokey tofu ‘ham’ bits, caramelized onions and a dash of pure maple syrup, let this protein-rich and hearty soup warm your soul this winter.



1 (450 g) package of dried green split peas

4-6 cups of fresh clean water

7 whole cloves of fresh garlic (peeled)  (you can use less)

¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tbs. whole leaf dried sage

1 tsp. ground dried sage

¼ tsp. whole celery seed

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. ground back pepper

½ tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. pure maple syrup


½ (350 g) package of extra firm tofu — diced into small (0.5 – 1 cm) cubes

1 small-medium white or yellow cooking onion — finely chopped (0.3–0.5 cm)

¾ tsp. natural liquid smoke[1] (Hickory)

2 tbs. water

½ tsp. sea salt

2 tbs. grape-seed or coconut (no aroma) oil

Extras (optional–to taste)

Black or mixed peppercorns in a grinder

Chopped fresh parsley

Extra sea salt

  1. Rinse and drain peas in a colander
  2. To a medium-sized heavy saucepan add: split peas, 2 cups of water, garlic, yeast, sages, celery seeds, sea salt, black pepper and olive oil (basically all “stock” ingredients other than the maple syrup).
  3. Bring pot contents to a boil without a lid (this will boil over if lidded).
  4. In a medium-sized sealable food container, add liquid smoke, 2 tbs. water, and ½ tsp. of sea salt—mix well.
  5. Add diced tofu to the smoky liquid, apply lid, and shake/turn, coating all tofu cubes. Set aside.
  6. Once pot of stock is boiling, turn down heat to a simmer (all stoves are different), stirring every 10 min and adding more water as needed.
  7. Cook until garlic and peas are soft and can be smoothed with a wooden spoon (about 40 min.).
  8. In the meantime, heat a small skillet/frying pan on low-medium heat and add coconut or grape-seed oil, ensuring pan is well coated.
  9. Shake up tofu one more time, then with a fork or slotted spoon, remove marinated tofu (do not throw liquid away) and add it, along with the onions, to the oil in the pan. Turn with a spatula to coat onions and tofu in oil.
  10. Sauté tofu and onions until lightly browned.
  11. Once the soup stock is soft, reduce heat and blend with a hand-wand (be careful, allow to cool, or wear a glove to avoid burns). If the soup is too thick, add water. If you don’t have a hand-wand you can add a little (½ c.) water, cook another 5 min., and smooth the soup against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  12. Add the saved smoky liquid to the hot pan in small drizzles until tofu and onions are dark and caramelized. [There should be a little oil left in the pan, if not, add a little more].
  13. Once soup is smooth and blended, pour contents of frying pan (tofu ‘ham’, onions and oil) into the pot—stir gently.
  14. Add maple syrup to pot and stir . Simmer for another 10 min. or so.
  15. Ladle into bowls—top with chopped parsley and fresh ground pepper.

Makes 4-6 meal-sized servings.

Serve with: fresh-baked whole-grain bread with your choice of topping (a nice vegan garlic ‘butter’, ‘faux gras’, ‘garden eggplant spread’, ‘walnut pecan cream’; or try with turnip fries; spicy potato wedges; or seedy flatbreads.

Hints: Simply refrigerate, add some water, and warm, to re-serve within a week. This soup can also be frozen in a well-sealed container for up to 12 months.

[1] The only ingredients should be “smoke” and water. Try to avoid those containing sugar, colour, salt or other additives. Liquid smoke is made by running wood smoke (in this case Hickory wood) through a column of water that absorbs the desired flavonoid compounds. It is a great ingredient and adds rich versatility to many winter/indoor recipes.


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