Rinse the split peas and remove any debris.
In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the onion until translucent - about 2-3 minutes.
Add the split peas, water, tempeh, pepper and the spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the peas are soft.
Prepare the carrots, celery and sweet potato.
When the pot of peas are soft, add the remaining vegetables. Add more water as necessary. Continue to simmer the soup for an additional 45 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.
Remove the bay leaves. Add salt to taste. Add additional herbs if desired.
This soup goes nicely with warm cornbread.
How about a nice thick soup for a great warm feeling? The recipe calls for split peas, which is what gives it a nice thickness. Further flavored with herbs and vegetables, this is a great healthy option. This soup takes a little time, so you need to plan ahead if you want to make it.