Ninja Cooking System Recipe: Vegan French Yellow Split Pea Soup (Slow Cooker)

by on February 18, 2013

Back in August I attended the International Food Blogger Conference and attendees were able to secure a brand new Ninja Cooking System for free should they choose to try it. I was very interested because it’s not just a slow cooker, but you can use it for baking or stovetop cooking as well. So if you like to start off some of your soups, stews or roasts by sautéing and then turning on the slow cooker, you will love this kitchen gadget. It comes with a little cookbook in the box, but naturally none of the recipes are vegan. There is one “can be made vegetarian” lentil soup recipe in the book, but I tried it and was not impressed. (It uses chicken stock and cheese and I used vegetable stock and it was rather bland, naturally.)

So I decided to pull it out and make a vegan split pea soup. It is rather chilly in Calgary, Canada where I am and it sure makes the house smell delicious with soup cooking away all day. What’s nice about the Ninja Cooking System is that it has a non stick lightweight pan. So there’s no fear of food getting stuck to it making it hard to clean, or it being so heavy you might accidentally drop it and break it. It also has a handy digital timer for the low/high/buffet (keep warm) setting, and simply an on/off setting for the low/medium/high stovetop section.

Since I will be using it only for bean, lentil and soup recipes (and not roasts or meat stews) I will be playing around with it. But for my purposes it works just like a slow cooker so it’s very easy to use. Don’t be intimidated! Just select the setting you want by using the dial. Although I still have my regular slow cooker, I suppose I don’t need it anymore as the Ninja is quite convenient to use AND clean too. It also comes with a little metal pan for roasting/steaming/baking and a metal roasting rack.

If you’re interested in getting a Ninja Cooking System you can get it on Amazon here. I suspect it would also make a nice gift for that family member pressed on time, who likes to toss ingredients into the pot and “set it and forget it” until they come home from work for fast meals.

Although I’m not skilled in the art of French cooking (as they use butter, cream and meat predominantly) I still enjoy using some French ingredients and especially French herbs. Here’s my version of a simple and hearty Vegan French Split Pea Soup.

Vegan French Yellow Split Pea Soup (Slow Cooker)

Serves 8


2 cups yellow split peas (rinsed and picked over)
8 cups vegetable broth (low sodium or homemade)
1 large sweet onion, or 2 small, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 celery ribs, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 tsp Herbs de Provence (or a mix of rosemary, thyme, savory and/or basil)
3 small bay leaves
1 tsp Dijon mustard (do not use yellow mustard or spicy mustard)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Herbamare or salt (or to taste)


Place ingredients into a slow cooker such as the Ninja or a pressure cooker.

Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Alternately you can cook it in a pressure cooker for about 7 minutes.

When split peas are at desired tenderness, mash or blend part of the soup for a creamier texture.

Add dijon mustard and stir and season to taste with Herbamare or salt and pepper.

Serve with whole wheat bread or over rice.

Additional Tips:

Make sure to use fresh split peas (meaning not ones sitting in your cupboard for the past year, and preferably not from a bulk bin). Using “old” split peas that have been through various temperatures and humidity can leave them hard and difficult to break down. You’ll know you had old peas if at the end of cooking time they are still rather hard and intact. No amount of cooking will soften them, you’ll just end up burning the bottom of the soup to the pot. (I have had this happen many times from bulk split peas) Pick up a fresh set of split peas for your soup recipe instead.

Because I cooked this in the Ninja some of the moisture escaped from the hole in the lid at the top, so my soup is really thick. If this happens to you, you can add a little more broth or water as needed for desired consistency and then season to taste.

Additionally you can add diced potatoes or other seasonings to this soup to mix it up.

Have you ever made split pea soup? What ingredients do you like to add?

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JoAnn August 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

This looks delicious!! Do you think it would freeze well? It looks like a lot. If I could freeze it in portions, that would be wonderful.


2 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 30, 2013 at 11:03 AM

You can freeze almost any soup yes. I would add a little more water or broth when reheating it after though as peas thicken when cooled


3 Helen August 5, 2013 at 5:06 PM

In my Split Pea Soup I put: carrots, onions, celery, split peas, cumin, tyme, pepper salt, smoked paprika, bay leaf,water. Yes I use water, the soup is great tasting, and perfect for those on a low budget


4 Sarah February 25, 2013 at 3:27 AM

Veronica, please can you tell me would you add diced potatoes at the start of the cooking process?


5 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 25, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Yes add raw ingredients at the start.


6 Paula February 22, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Second request — Please tell me something about Herbamare and why you like it. I looked at it in the health food store and it still seems high in sodium. Thanks 🙂


7 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 22, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Hi Paula

I missed your first comment. I use Herbamare for taste instead of salt. It is salt with additional herbs added in. It is not a salt free replacement. If you use it, don’t add regular salt too. I just prefer to have additional flavor as well as some saltiness added to recipes as opposed to just plain sea salt which has no other flavor.

I use salt sparingly in recipes and you can use as much or as little as necessary for your health goals.

If you thought I was using it as a salt replacement it’s not because I’m implying it’s lower in sodium, it’s just flavored salt with French herbs.


8 Sharon McRae February 22, 2013 at 7:20 AM

Thanks for this great recipe! I added in 2 cups pureed tomatoes and a bag of dried mixed mushrooms, and increased the water and spices slightly. It was delicious!


9 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Sounds good!


10 Paula February 20, 2013 at 12:56 AM

I love to add curry powder to yellow split pea soup. Although I guess this wouldn’t be so French anymore. Might be interesting though along with the Herb De Provence mixture.

Re: Herbamare — I see you use it in alot of recipes. Can you tell me why you like it? I never heard of it before and I took a look at it in the health food store. Still alot of sodium, no?


11 Phyllis K February 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM

I like to use a pressure cooker. Can I do this soup in a pressure cooker and how would the recipe change?

It sounds delicious.


12 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 18, 2013 at 10:52 PM

I mentioned pressure cooking for 7 min in the instructions.


13 Magic and Mayhem January 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I was unsure too. I would have made this tonight but I didn’t know if the ratio of liquids would change. It’s generally much different in pressure cooker recipes.


14 Veronica Grace January 7, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Yes you use much less water in a pressure cooker as it cooks for a shorter amount of time and seals the steam in


15 Elizabeth February 18, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Looks mouthwatering good!!! Will definitely give it a go….question…is the Ninja’s non-stick surface teflon?? Also…am allergic to mustard (sulfites)…in your opinion, would this recipe still taste okay minus the mustard???….or can I substitute it with something??



16 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM

It might be teflon, but its very well made and wont flake off so i’m not worried about it. You can leave out the mustard it just adds some more flavor.


17 Michelle February 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

That recipe looks really good! I have a Ninja too and I love the versatility of this thing. You can use it for so many different recipes and it saves on dishes too. If anyone is on the fence about buying the Ninja, I say go for it! You will be happy you purchased. I also found this detailed review here that gives all the features and details of the Ninja if you guys want to read:


18 Joe February 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM

I notice a fairly common ingredient in your recipes is 3tbs yeast and wondered “why its missing here?”


19 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I don’t understand what you mean. Nutritional yeast? I never add it to bean or lentil dishes. It has a tangy cheezy flavor for faux cheese sauce. Not appropriate in a French split pea soup.


20 Clara Mae February 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Dear Veronica,
I like split green pea chowder or even just plain soup in my slow cooker. In the chowder I add carrots and potatoes and onions; in the soup just salt. I find that whizzing the final product in the blender or food processor makes for a lovely creamy soup that glides down your throat. Are you mostly for raw foods or cooked foods? Is your ratio 80:20?


21 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I don’t have a ratio. But I eat more salads and fruit in the summer when it’s in season. I live in Canada and it’s cold during the winter.


22 Zoe February 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I haven’t tried this recipe yet but am looking forward to it – I guess you could use green split peas too if that’s what you had on hand. And I’m adding spinach to just about everything these days so we get lots of greens – I’m sure that would be good in here too.


23 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM

If you’re going to use spinach, I would suggest stirring it in at the end so it doesn’t fall apart. It wilts naturally from the heat.


24 Shelah February 18, 2013 at 10:56 AM

How can you tell if the split peas you’re buying aren’t old?
Also, are there any adjustments for making this on the stove instead of a slow cooker?
PS: I made your Summer Harvest Soup last week and everybody raved — it is so so delicious!!


25 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Buy them in small bags, see if there is a pack date or a best before date. I no longer trust bulk bins, every time I’ve bought from them the peas did not break down and stayed hard. So I prefer to buy split peas in smaller quantities, in general other lentils are fine.

If making on the stove you can cook it for 45-1 h over medium heat, but you’ll have to watch it so that it doesn’t burn and get stuck to the bottom. That’s the biggest problem with cooking split peas. I don’t like to do it on the stove, I prefer a non stick slow cooker so they don’t stick.


26 Shelah February 18, 2013 at 12:49 PM



27 Lorraine February 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I pretty much make it like you do, but coming from a French background, I like to add hominy corn ( from a can, not dry ). I rinse them really well before adding to the soup.
I love your recipes. Thank you for posting them.


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