Paul and Linda McCartney's Split Pea Soup

"Another celebrity recipe. I do not know if you should chop up the tomatoes or not, but this sounds great. This would be vegan if you don't use the butter."
photo by averybird photo by averybird
photo by averybird
photo by averybird photo by averybird
Ready In:
1hr 45mins




  • Place split peas, lentils, onions, celery, tomatoes and leeks in large pot and cover with water.
  • Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer about 1-1/2 hours, until split peas and lentils are soft.
  • Add butter and stir until melted.
  • Add peppercorns and sea salt to taste.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Diana Adcock
    Well, I gotta say I was leary of making this as I am a fan of split pea and ham soup. This was awsome. I made it yesterday for lunch/dinner today and it did not make it past 8:00 P.M. it was that good. My daughter, who is a vegetarian thanks you, and has informed me that not only will I be making it again today, but can plan on making this on a regular basis. The only thing I changed was the tomato-I could not find fresh tomatoes that were worth buying so I used a small can of whole tomatoes with juice. I also liked the fact that I could slide some Lentils past my DH! Excellent recipe! Di
  2. ccferne
    This is delicious and easy to make. Instead of the fresh tomatoes, I used a 16-oz can of 'recipe-cut' tomatoes. I can't see any point in cooking fresh tomatoes that long -- they're going to be just like canned tomatoes after all that time. I used a scant 1/4 CUP of canola margerine rather than the 1/4 LB of butter, and it was certainly rich enough. Butter IS good with split-pea soup, tho. A person who's not worried about cholesterol might want to add a spoonful to a serving made with minimal margerine.
  3. jckamen
    This was quite delicious and easy, too. I think I'll reduce the butter next time -- don't get me wrong -- it was utterly delicious -- I just think I could get by with a little less butter and it taste just as good! Thanks!
  4. I Cook Therefore I
    Took previous raters advice and added stock cube and didn't add ANY dairy and this was GREAT and easy to boot! Thanks for posting!
  5. Funkymunky613
    I really enjoyed the recipe; however, I found it rather bland and lacking in spices. Next time I may add oregano, rosemary, basil, or something to make it less "one-notey." I did not add much salt as it gets my son rather sick. Maybe that's is the root of the problem, but it's just too unhealthy. I still can''t figure out what the butter was for. Next time, I'll skip the butter.


  1. Epi Curious
    Love this! I am used to ham in my split pea soup, but this is just as flavorful and much healthier. I didn't have celery, so I left that out; replaced half the water with low-sodium chicken broth, and added 4 cloves minced garlic. I also used a #2 sized can of crushed tomatoes instead of the tomatoes and only 1/2 the butter called for, topping each serving with a drizzle of olive oil. My picky 8-year old who HATES veggies and most soups LOVED it and asked me to make it again. She also said it tasted "like it had meat in it." That speaks volumes! Thank you for posting this wonderful, versatile recipe which stands up well to variations!!!
  2. Food Snob in Israel
    Delicious. I had had this once at a friends and couldn't stop thinking about it, so it was my great loss that I waited a full 6 months until I got the recipe. My bad. My only qualm was that it took ages for these split peas to cook properly, and after 2.5 hours (I made a double batch) I just gave up and ate it with rather firm peas. Nonetheless, it was DELICIOUS and froze (for all of two days, until we HAD to have it again) beautifully. Sprinkle with parmasean cheese, or even go ahead and add your ham (which, of course, is a soy ham substitute). Either way, it's a winner! I replaced leeks with onions and sauteed all of the onions in butter first and added less butter at the end. I thought it would add something, but it wasn't necessary. I'll simplify next time. THANK YOU!!!
  3. MN Kiss the Cook
    This soup was wonderful. I made a double batch on Saturday to freeze. I ate it for yesterday's lunch, for supper and again today for lunch. It's that good! I substituted homemade chicken stock for the water. I didn't have leeks but added green onions from the garden. Great recipe that is also simple to make!
  4. burnourstereos
    This soup was excellent, though I did make several changes. I used low sodium vegetable broth instead of water and added some garlic for extra flavor. I didn't have any fresh tomatoes, so I used canned, which tasted fine. I also completely omitted the butter/margarine for a healthier alternative. Finally, I added in a few carrots and half pureed the soup with an immersion blender when finished. It was delicious.
  5. RitaBean
    What a delight this soup is! Feeling a 'little' skeptical, I used chicken stock instead of water + I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh - they're what I had on hand. This was served up with (#33587) baking powder biscuits & made a wonderful meal. Very hearty & filling + we have leftovers - whats not to like. Thanks for sharing this Lennie!


I have been sharing recipes here at Recipezaar since October 2001. You won't see me around anymore, although if you're an old-school Zaarite you'll remember that in the past, you couldn't shut me up!
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