Make Life Simple, Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa Paste and fragrant North African spices. Vegan and Gluten Free! 

VEGAN, Make Life Simple Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa and North African Spices!

Arrange whatever pieces come your way. ~Virginia Woolf~

This vegan Make Life Simple, Instant Pot Split Pea Soup is packed full of winter veggies and seasoned with North African spices. It only takes 15 minutes in an Instant Pot, using the pressure cooker setting.  When it is done, serve it up with spicy Harissa paste and a drizzle of olive oil. To cool down the palate, swirl yogurt into the bowl.

Harissa Paste, if unfamiliar is a spicy North African condiment we all should get to know. It gives somber split peas a boost of flavor along with lovely heat. Together, it’s magic.

Oh ya, and did I mention it only takes 15 minutes in the pressure cooker? You can make the quick version of Harissa Paste while the soup is cooking! A delicious healthy meal to make ahead and portion it up for midweek meals. A true timesaver.

But do you want to know the real reason I posted this recipe? If you are like me, you’ve probably had some spit peas hanging around in your pantry a while now. I’ll be honest, they don’t fly off my shelf. Brian has never once said, “Honey, I feel like having split pea soup tonight“.


But when put in front of him, he loves it.

So it feels good using up pantry ingredients we already have on hand, especially during the winter months, when fresh produce is more limited.  Perhaps I’m a little like my frugal parents, in that cooking up something humble, like split peas, which cost very little, but still have the potential of tasting amazing … is so extremely gratifying! I want you to feel this!

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa

Plus, split peas are really high in fiber and low in calories, meaning they are filling and satisfying, while being heart-healthy, and keep me feeling energized all day long.

 Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa and North African Spices

Garnish the soup with Harissa Paste ( which you can make or buy) and a drizzle of Olive oil and fresh parsley, or swirl in some yogurt. Of course, you can use vegan yogurt. 😉

Either way, I think you’ll love it.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa and North African spices!

Make a batch of this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup on Sunday and portion it out for midweek meals!

More Instant Pot recipes you may like:

Happy cooking!



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Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa and North African spices.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Harissa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 16 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Vegan Soup
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: North African
  • Diet: Vegan


Make Life Simple Instant Pot Split Pea Soup, packed with veggies and seasoned with Harissa Paste and North African flavors. Drizzle with olive oil and keep it vegan, or add a swirl of yogurt for added richness. ( See stove top and Slow cooker options below)


  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 46 fat garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 heaping cup celery, diced
  • 1 heaping cup carrots or parsnips, diced ½ inch thick
  • 1 x 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes ( or use fire roasted for extra flavor, or use 1 ½ cups fresh tomatoes diced with their juices ). Do not drain.
  • 2 cups split peas ( feel free to soak for a few hours or not, up to you)
  • 4 cups veggie or chicken broth ( or water with  1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs or Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon aleppo chili flakes ( or regular chili flakes)

Garnish with olive oil,  Harissa (homemade, or store bought- FYI Trader Joes carries it) and a swirl of plain yogurt or sour cream and fresh Italian parsley.


In an Instant pot, using the saute function, saute the the onion and garlic in the olive oil while you chop the rest of the veggies.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Give a a good stir and cover. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally ( 15 minutes).

Stir once again, it will thicken a bit as it cools.

Serve with a teaspoon or two of Harissa Paste, a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of plain yogurt  and some fresh Italian parsley.


For easier digestion, soak the peas in a bowl of water on the counter or overnight in the fridge. Optional!

To cook in a slow cooker, cook on low heat 8 to 10 hrs or on high heat 6 to 7 hours, or until peas are tender.

To cook on the stove top, cook in a dutch oven, covered, simmer on low heat, 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until peas are tender.


  • Serving Size: 1.25 cups with Harissa Oil
  • Calories: 361
  • Sugar: 9.6 g
  • Sodium: 241.7 mg
  • Fat: 10.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53 g
  • Fiber: 20.1 g
  • Protein: 17.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Instant pot split pea soup


















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  1. Totally delicious and satisfying. I love how this recipe retains the prominent celery flavor that traditional split pea soup has, but has all this great non-traditional flavor from the spices and harissa. Unlike other reviewers, I found the heat level to be just fine. Easy, too! I complicated things by blooming the spices before adding the wet ingredients, but not sure it’s necessary. Thank you for such a delicious, nutritious, and easy recipe!

  2. This recipe will be in constant rotation at our house. So delicious! Can’t wait to try more from the website.

  3. Made this last night. I made a few minor changes just because of what I had on hand. I added one diced small russet potato, used fire roasted tomatoes, yellow onion rather than a red one since that’s what I had and I incorporated a large chipotle pepper and some of the sauce as I didn’t want to do the harissa. I also used my immersion blender to smooth it out. The flavors were amazing! Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow! Highly recommend this soup. It looks s especially yummy on a cold wintry evening.

  4. Made this tonight. I added one russet potato and also a chipotle chili and some sauce. It was so amazingly good. I also used my immersion blender to smooth it out. Yum. !

  5. Didn’t follow it to the “T” – for example, I forgot to p/u the celery at the grocery store and I went far lighter on the onion. Didn’t have the Harissa paste so I added some dried harissa spice in w/the rest of the ingredients. Totally yummy.
    I soaked my split peas and the consistency (to me) was similar to what happens when you thicken the soup by using an immersion blender.
    For folks looking for split peas – Walmart typically carries them (in the dried bean section).
    I’m going to try freezing a serving or 2.

  6. what kind of split peas are you referring to? I don’t think I’ve cooked them before. Are they different than lentils? Where do I find them? In a can or dry from a bag?

    1. They are green peas that are dried and split. In most grocery stores in the bean section.

  7. This soup was so delicious! My meat eater husband thought it had a meaty flavour and he loved it!
    The harissa paste is HOT so be careful!
    Also, we wanted it a bit thicker when it came out, so I blended half with my immersion blender, but then it kept thickening up as it sat for 10 minutes before serving. So definitely no need to blend the soup. Super tasty! Thanks for the recipe 🙂


  8. I’ve been cooking many of your recipes and each one has been divine!
    I have a huge left over honey baked ham hock. Can I throw it into this or will it mess with the taste profile?
    Thank you!

  9. You never fail to hit the mark on flavor! Once again, I am not disappointed with the result.
    Incredibly easy; a nutritional power house; so satisfying

  10. Very good recipe! When I saw it when my insta was done I was not impressed at first.. Than it thickened and I tasted it!! Amazing. Thank. You

  11. Absolutely excellent flavors! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this surprising spice profile (Herbs de Provence, cumin and coriander), plus, I think this is the first split-pea soup I’ve made that includes tomatoes 🙂 but WOW! Outstanding, Sylvia!

    I’ve made this a few times as a base and then added things I had on hand that needed to be used like cauliflower, spinach, kale, leftover brown rice.

    And a warning: if your split peas aren’t fresh, they can take up to 45m on high in the IP to cook through.

  12. In Holland split peasoup is a real traditional soup with sausage and bacon. Since I don’t eat meat anymore I hardly eat pea soup because its a bit bland without the meat. I used smoked paprika in my vegetarian version, which made it a lot better, but this version with the spicy harissa made it really sing!

  13. I love this recipe. Ever since I tried it, I have cooked it at least once a month 🙂 Feels comforting and warming. My partner really loves it too,and he usually prefers meat as a source of protein at dinner.


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