Vegan peawack soup is a tasty broth prepared with red split lentils, yellow split peas, and TVP mince (dried textured veggie protein). And flavoured with marmite, vegan Worcester sauce and plant-based beef stock to create a deeply savoury, budget-friendly, delicious filling soup.
This recipe is a an inspired recreation of Liverpool’s, (England) traditional dish: peawack soup.
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Origins of Traditional Liverpool Peawack Soup
Peawack soup has been around for at least 100 years.
Mention peawack soup to a Liverpudlian and you will more often than not stir up fond memories of their childhood when grandpa or grandma made the best peawack soup ever.
Peawack soup is a very friendly dish as its claimed that many years ago peawack soup was a community affair, where people would get together to prepare a large pot of it and share it amongst friends and neighbours.
The word ‘wack’ is Liverpool slang for ‘friend’ or ‘fellow’.
The main ingredient in traditional peawack soup is the dried split peas, with red lentils and sometimes barley being included.
The soup is often prepared with a ham bone, hock, or knuckle to flavour the stock. Depending on what is available various vegetables are added such as carrots, leeks, swede, potatoes, and sometimes cabbage. Salt and black pepper provide the finishing seasoning.
Peawack soup likely evolved from the ancient pea soup or Roman pottage
Pea soup in one shape or form has been enjoyed by humans since at least 500-400 BC. During Roman times pea soup was a popular street food. The Romans often prepared a soup-stew like dish called pottage which consisted of peas and oats cooked to a sort of soft mush.
Historically, pea soup was the food of peasants and not the richer folks. However pea soup would have provided a pack of plant-powered nutrition!
Vegan Medieval pottage
For those interested I have a fun, interesting recipe for vegan medieval potage. My kids love preparing a pot of bubbling pottage around about Halloween time and just throwing in any thing they find from the fridge or cupboards!
Vegan Peawack Soup
Vegan peawack soup is my plant-based adaptation of the traditional peawack soup, so is not claiming to be an authentic recipe.
It will satisfy and warm you up on a chilly day. And best of all it will fill your family up with tons of plant-based goodness.
I have replaced the ham with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) which comes in dried chunks or mince form. TVP is generally made with defatted soya protein and is available in most health/wholefood shops. Some UK supermarkets stock it so its worth a check in your local one.
A 500 gram bag is usually less than £2 and seeing as its dried, TVP will rehydrate to just over double its weight. So a bag will do for a few good budget-friendly meals. TVP is often added to meat products as a way to bulk out the product at a cheaper cost.
To achieve a deep savoury flavour I added a teaspoon of vegetable yeast extract or marmite and a tablespoon of vegan Worcester sauce. I also use a vegan, plant-based ‘beef’ stock powder. (link provided in the recipe card)
If you can’t find any vegan Worcester sauce, simply use tamari soya sauce or just regular soya sauce. Also vegetable stock is fine if plant-based ‘beef’ stock is not available. Incidentally, OXO currently has a meat-free ‘beef’ stock cube which is available in most UK supermarkets.
I also chose to add red split lentils, potatoes, carrot, celery, bay leaf, mixed herbs, onion and garlic, as well as the mandatory yellow split peas.
For vegan cookery often non-traditional ingredients need to be added to traditional based recipes in order to add more depths of flavour.
Dried split peas are a great source of protein and fibre
Dried split peas are a brilliant source of plant-based protein with 100g of cooked split peas containing 8.3g, and around the same amount of fibre.
A serving of my vegan peawack soup has an estimated 24g of protein per serving. And an estimated whopping 24g of fibre.
Useful Recipe FAQs and Pro Tips
How To Prepare Vegan Peawack Soup:
Vegan Traditional Peawack Soup
- Large Saucepan/Soup/Stock Pan
- 130 g yellow split peas soaked overnight in water, discard soaking liquid.
- 100 g red split lentils rinsed
- 200 g potatoes 1 large, diced.
- 70 g carrot 1 medium, diced
- 70 g celery 2 small sticks, diced
- 110 g onion 1 small-medium, diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced or fine diced.
- 60 g TVP (Textured Vegetable protein) Use either TVP mince or pieces. Alternatively use any vegan pieces fresh, dried or frozen, diced tempeh or seitan, or fine chopped mushrooms.
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 tsp dried mixed herbs or a few sprigs of fresh herbs such as thyme or parsley
- 1 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce or tamari/regular soya sauce
- 1 tsp yeast extract or Marmite
- 2.5 litres vegetable stock preferably plant-based meat-free beef stock. 2.5 US quarts. Plus extra if required.
- 15 g parsley chopped
- Add all the ingredients to a soup pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for 60 minutes or until the yellow split peas are soft but still have a bite.
- If soup becomes too thick simply thin with an extra cup of hot veggie stock.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.Remove the bay leaf and any fresh herbs.
- Serve as is, or if preferred give the soup a little mash with a potato masher. Or blend until smooth.Garnish with some chopped parsley.
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is calculated using computerized nutrition apps.
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3 days.
- Or frozen for 4-6 months.
- Reheat by bringing to the boil, and simmering for 2-3 minutes until piping hot throughout. Extra liquid may be required as the soup can become very thick as it sits in the fridge.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, dill, or chives.
- Serve with crusty bread, veggie burger, fries/chips/wedges/toastie/grilled vegan cheese sandwich, oatcakes/crackers.