yellow split pea soup paleo recipe

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Paprika

When my husband takes the boys up to the mountains for a night or two, first I call Martha for a hike. Then, I go into soup mode.

For me, soup is all about simplicity –vegetables and protein in a one pot meal. I make soup for dinner and often end up eating it for breakfast and lunch the next day. My husband cringes when I tell him this; he has a strong dislike of leftovers, and has not yet discovered the appeal of eating dinner for breakfast. Those who cook non-stop definitely get the leftover thing –and the charm of last night’s dinner first thing in the morning.

Tonight’s soup was exceedingly hearty –filled with chicken stock, legumes and mushrooms, three nutritious, filling foods that could easily make meals in and of themselves.

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Paprika
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 cup kale, chopped and steamed
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring split peas, water, bay leaves and paprika to a boil
  2. Reduce and simmer for 1 hour, until peas break apart
  3. Remove peas from heat, discard bay leaves and place peas in vitamix
  4. Puree peas on high speed, until smooth, then set aside
  5. In a large sauce pan, heat oil and sauté onion over medium low until translucent, 10-15 minutes
  6. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until tender
  7. Stir pureed peas, stock, kale and salt into onion, mushroom mixture
  8. Warm and serve

For this soup, you can definitely use veggie stock instead of the chicken stock; I like chicken stock as it gives the soup a good hit of protein. These days I’m focusing my diet as much as possible on protein and greens –and of course, dessert.


  1. Vikki says

    This sounds like a wonderful recipe and I am going to try it but as far as the Paleo diet goes, I thought legumes were not included in the Paleo diet? Is that not correct? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

  2. Benita says

    I made this soup yesterday and it was awesome! It was perfect for this cold Denver weather. Next time, I’ll make a bigger batch and freeze some. What I like most about the recipe is that it’s highly flavorful while being very healthy. Can’t wait to try some of the other soups and will rotate them each week. Thanks!

  3. Aerie says

    This soup is delicious! Just one recipe suggestion for other fellow novices…When cooking the peas, simmer them COVERED. I tried it uncovered first & ended up with a burned mess.

  4. says

    Dear Maria,

    Not sure what your source of this information is, however, I have found that chicken broth contains 5 grams of protein per cup, which is actually a decent hit of protein. In fact, calorie for calorie, chicken stock contains 50% more protein than beans.

    Thanks for your comment.


  5. Maria says

    Great-looking recipe. Just one comment, though– stock of any kind, chicken or not, is NOT a source of protein! The split peas are, of course, but the protein content of any stock or broth is miniscule. And now, to find my smoked paprika…

  6. says


    Thanks for your comment. This is one of my favorite recipes and I’m glad you and your husband liked it.

    Per the kale, I use whatever is growing in my garden or looks best at the grocery store –dino, purple or curly kale, you name it.

    Take Care,

  7. ~M says

    Hi Elana,

    I made a version of this soup tonight and it was a huge hit with both my husband and me. Very soothing and filling, my husband thinks this is a great soup to eat during finals – and because it’s so healthy, he felt entitled to scarf two cookies for dessert! While I am commenting on this post, he’s ladling soup into mason jars for tomorrow’s lunches since we love leftovers, and especially soup, for lunch. :) Soup for lunch leaves us satisfied but not sleepy.

    We ended up using green split peas and regular (sweet?) paprika since the store didn’t have yellow ones or smoked paprika (and it was snowing so we wanted to return home!). I used my immersion blender on the split peas (minus the bay leaves), which worked perfectly.

    I used lacinato (aka “dinosaur”) kale here. When you say “kale” in your recipes, which kind are you referring to? I almost always prefer the lacinato variety, and I like it still a drop raw. To achieve this, I didn’t steam the kale, but rather put it into the pot with the peas to get warmed up and softened for several minutes while I sauteed the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. This also saves a pot for cleaning! I adore mushrooms in tasty broth (your Thai chicken soup is up soon!) Next time I might add a few chopped carrots too for sweetness and color. The last change we needed was more celtic sea salt, but that could be because we used Imagine’s no-chicken broth to keep it pareve.

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe, Elana, and keep up the fabulous work!

  8. Lorri says

    I made this soup which is incredibly easy and amazingly flavorful. Thank you so much. I’m back for another soup recipe! BTW–you can buy Smoked Paprika at Target!

  9. says

    I love leftovers for breakfast, in fact I am not that big of a fan of breakfast food and prefer non breakfasty foods. I have been using smoked paprika for years and adore it and buy large quantities of it. Try it in Chicken paprikash! Here is the recipe that I generally follow:,,FOOD_9936_18332,00.html
    Penzeys spices sells smoked paprika at, although it is not as strongly smoked as my favorite spanish paprika at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. They might ship it to you, I think the brand name is Vera. is the site. Good luck to all searching, it is worth the search. The smokier the better.

  10. says

    Hi Julia-

    Thanks for stopping by my site and for your kind words. I think I bought the smoked paprika at Vitamin Cottage, though when I checked last time I was there they were out.

    I added a link above to spice hunter, so you can buy the smoked paprika online if you would like.


  11. Julia says

    Hi Elana.

    I came across this recipe when I was looking for smoked paprika online – looks delicious! If ever I can find smoked paprika, I will try it! I am also in Boulder; can I buy this in town, or do you purchase it online? Thanks. Many other recipes on your site look great and I look forward to trying some; we are also gluten free and it sounds like you and I spend about the same amount of time in the kitchen.

    Thank you!

  12. says

    Hi Anina,

    I was just thinking about you yesterday, wondering how you are since we haven’t been in touch for a couple of weeks. Thanks for your comment and I hope you are well!


  13. says

    LyB- Yes, the smoked paprika and the peas are divine together!

    Michelle- I am getting really into the smoked paprika also, I use it for so many different dishes, it is delicious!

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