Delicious and Flavorful Split Pea Soup

In my experience it's one of those soups that most people either like/love or loathe.
I like it if it's well made.

My favorite is the way mom made hers, generally following the recipe on the back of the bag of dry green split peas.

These days more often than not, I buy the split peas in bulk in the organic section but generally follow the same recipe.

No need to fret about precise measurements here, just aim for the depth of flavor and consistancy you want. If you find it's too thick simply add additional water or chicken broth.

If I have a ham bone into the pot it goes, you can also use a ham hock or two, just be mindful of adding too much salt at the beginning because the bones and meat can contain quite a bit of salt.

Don't worry if you don't have a bone or hock, you can omit or cut up a couple of strips of bacon and fry them up in the soup pot, then proceed with recipe. At times I'll simply add some cubed ham from a ham steak near the end of cooking time. I really prefer that to the meat from the ham hock.

Here's the general recipe I follow, but by all means, if you like more onion, carrot, celery adjust to your preferences. Spit pea soup tends to thicken up upon refrigeration so just add a bit more water or chicken broth when reheating it to reach the thickness you like.

Delicious and Flavorful Split Pea Soup

1 bag (or about 12 to 16 ounces) of dry green split peas rinsed well and picked through for foreign matter. (Sometimes a a small stone or twig may be among the peas.)
A little oil
1 medium to large yellow or white onion, diced
1 to 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced or sliced
1 to 3 stalks of celery, diced or sliced
Peeled, diced potatoes, 1 or 2 medium size (Potatoes are optional. If you like a milder pea flavor and smoother soup use the potatoes)
Chicken broth (canned/boxed is fine) or water
1 or 2 bay leaves
Dry or fresh thyme to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Some cooks just put everything in the pot, cook until the peas are tender and call it done.

Not me! I go for depth of flavor:

I prefer to heat a little oil* in the soup pot and saute the onions until translucent, then add carrots, celery and saute for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe. These steps help make a much more flavorful soup.

* Or cook the 2 or 3 strips of cut up bacon & cook it off first in the pot, drain a little of the bacon fat off, then proceed.

Next put the diced potatoes (if using), and the split peas in the pot and cover by a few inches of water or chicken broth (I use a combination.)

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until the peas (and potatoes) are very tender. If you are using cubed ham, add it about 20 minutes before soup is done.

If you have used a ham bone, or ham hock remove from the soup, discard excess fat from the meat, shred the remaining meat, chop and add back to soup if desired.

Fish the bay leaf (leaves) out, taste for seasonings and serve hot.

If you like a smoother soup you can whiz all or part of the soup in the blender or food processor (before adding the meat back in), or use an immersion blender. Add more water or broth as needed.

I always finish mine with crispy, garlicky croutons and/or a drizzle of good olive oil. (Some people like a little knob of butter on top just before serving.)

It's a very comforting meal on a cold day.


  1. I'm one that is in the "love" category but sadly DH is in the "loathe" so I can honestly say I haven't made this in 25 years. Your post and a cold I'm fighting is making me crave this soup so I am going to make it once again...hopefully it will taste "just like my mom's" and look "just like yours". The last photo is just mouthwatering.

  2. I found your blog through Under a blue moon (Andrea)and boy you have a wonderful eye catching blog! Love it and I'm adding you to my list. I too love to cook and set a lovely table.

  3. You have an amazing blog... one which I certainly will come back for recipes and beauty. I'm adding you to my blog list if that's OK with you. :) So nice meeting you!


  4. Looks good... I made this a few weeks ago... perfect for a cold day!

  5. I use a smoked turkey leg in my split pea. Delish!

  6. I love split pea soup and so does DH, thankfully. My recipe also calls for a leek which I like. Your photos are lip-smacking beautiful!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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