Warm up in the winter with this delicious, warm and comforting soup.
Saute onion, carrot, celery, and mushroom if using in olive oil over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes until softening and fragrant. Add bay leaves and potatoes and cook 1-2 minutes more, stirring to coat.
Add split peas and water and bring to a gentle boil. Lower to a simmer and cover the pot cooking until potatoes and split peas are soft, 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, balsamic, paprika, and nutritional yeast if using. If adding rice, stir in now and let heat through. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with crusty bread, crackers, or salad. You can also blend this soup for a creamy version!