Split Pea Soup Article - Allrecipes.com
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Split Pea Soup

So thick and hearty, split pea soup is a meal in itself.

Split peas are an excellent source of protein, folate and fiber. Add some vegetables and a few thick slices of bread for dunking, and you've got a deeply satisfying meal that's low in fat and high in nutrition.

To Soak or Not to Soak

It's true, soaking peas overnight in water shortens their cooking time. But soaking isn't entirely necessary. Split peas cook relatively quickly. Unsoaked peas take from 1 to 2 hours of simmering; soaked peas take about 40 minutes. Also, the only difference between yellow and green split peas is color.

  • Split peas absorb lots of water as they cook, so check the soup often and add liquid as needed.
  • The peas only need to be cooked until they are tender. But if you like a smoother, creamier texture, cook them longer until they soften and fall apart.
  • If you like really silky soup, take the extra step of pureeing the peas once they have softened. This is a great job for your immersion blender if you have one, but you can also do it in batches in your regular countertop blender.

Fill 'er Up

Ham, bacon, and sausage all go exceptionally well with peas. One of the most traditional ways of making split pea soup is to flavor it with ham bones. Most recipes include onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. In the herb department, bay leaves, thyme, mint, marjoram, rosemary, and parsley are all delicious additions. If you like to flavor your soup with tomatoes, lemon juice, vinegar, wine or any other acidic ingredients, wait until the end of cooking to add these, or else the acid will prevent the uncooked split peas from getting soft.

Finishing Touches

When the peas are soft and the veggies are cooked, stir in your favorite seasonings and keep on tasting until it's just right. We like to add salt, freshly cracked black pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Ladle the piping hot soup into big bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, some minced fresh parsley or mint, and a few crispy croutons.

Aug. 15, 2009 12:00 pm
I would like a recipe for pea soup that is meatless ,
Aug. 18, 2009 11:26 pm
I don't add Ham. Just add extra,everything else.
Oct. 14, 2009 7:11 pm
Hi, I enjoyed this split pea soup recipe. It can be added to beef vegetable soup or just the way it is. It'a a hearty, delicious,full of protein, fiber soup on those cold winter days. Enjoy!!
Oct. 15, 2009 7:14 am
If you need to make a quick pot of split pea soup and have a wheat grinder, grind the split peas. I cook all the other ingredients and then thicken the soup with the split pea flour by mixing it with water and stirring it in the boiling soup. Let it simmer for several minutes. It will thicken so watch it closely in case you need more liquid. This makes a creamy split pea soup in record time!
Oct. 15, 2009 9:57 pm
Split pea soup was one of Mom's favorite recipes. As I up, it was mine as well. Seems I remember adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the soup to make it taste even better. With buttered rye bread, eating split pea soup made a cold evening warmer. Now that Mom's unable to cook for herself, I think I'll surprise her using this recipe. Thanks for sharing it.
Oct. 16, 2009 3:19 pm
Hi. We love split pea soup but I make a home made dumpling and drop them in about 20 minutes before serving. I also use chicken broth and a bay leaf for flavoring as my grandma did; the perfect comfort soup and you can't beat the dumplings.
Oct. 16, 2009 3:20 pm
Hi. We love split pea soup but I make a home made dumplings and drop them in about 20 minutes before serving. I also use chicken broth and a bay leaf for flavoring as my grandma did; the perfect comfort soup and you can't beat the dumplings.
Oct. 20, 2009 9:16 pm
i put a lb of peas in crock pot with 7 c water, cook until soft, high for 3 hrs for me. i add curry powder, bacon, sated carrots and onions, and boulion, cook 1 more hour. just like the good canned stuff, with that extra kick from curry.
Oct. 30, 2009 6:32 am
Another great way to prepare this wonderful soup is to add a smoked porkhock (or 2) instead of a leftover ham bone. It adds a whole new depth to the soup. I place the hamhock in a pot with chicken stock and water and allow to simmer for an hour or so before adding the split peas and veg. ENJOY!
Nov. 1, 2009 11:42 am
Jennifer Anderson, pea soup, any relation to the original Anderson's Pea Soup Restaurant in Buellton,CA?
Nov. 17, 2009 1:20 pm
My father makes a split soup old school that takes him three days to put together. It's thick and delicious and we kids instinctively seem to know when it's ready. We just end up at his door. He'll be 92 next week and he's the best cook I know!
Dec. 3, 2009 5:43 am
I love split peas, letils and all things vegy! I know the article says there is "no difference - just colour", however I do notice a difference in taste between green and yellow. I love the green in the classic soups but the yellow I prefer in Indian dal.
Dec. 3, 2009 5:43 am
NB. I meant lentils, not letils!
Dec. 31, 2009 11:38 am
I always add a litle Worcestershire sauce to pea soup.
Jan. 13, 2010 8:56 pm
I have been to Anderson's in CA, my hubby's grandparents live out in northern CA. I have to try this soup now because of the reference and we will see how it measures up! (theirs was so filling I could hardly eat one whole bowl!)
Jan. 19, 2010 8:19 am
When cooking non soaked peas , bring water to a boil, then add peas and turn down heat to simmer and cover for an hour. Then I add the ingridients and bring back to a soft and steady boil till the carrots are soft(about 45mins to an hour)
Feb. 10, 2010 9:24 am
Vegetarian Pea Soup saute chopped onions in butter cook green or yellow peas in water add sliced carrots, potatoes, onions salt,pepper,thyme,rosemary,parsley Use fresh herbs if possible. Bring to boil, let simmer soup will thicken so watch it as it burns easily.
Feb. 14, 2010 12:54 pm
I think split pea soup is the best use of leftover ham leg roast. Next morning take the bone from the night before and put it in a dutch oven filled with water and simmer for an hour, then add your onion, peas & whatever you like as well as chopped up leftover ham. If you plan ahead you eat good, eat cheap, and waste nothing!
Feb. 17, 2010 9:37 am
I recently used a turkey carcass in my soup. It added a wonderful flavor. Also, adding a few cloves will enhance the flavor tremendously. I use the cloves with ham hocks all the time. Just add fresh french bread and you have a great meal for the cold winter eves.
Feb. 21, 2010 5:26 am
If you keep a Kosher kitchen and dont use ham, you can add one or two sliced Kosher All Beef Frankfurters to the soup at the beginning of cooking. Delicious !!!
Feb. 23, 2010 1:19 am
I really liked pea soup as a child and never got a recipe. To Diane, I love the idea of a turkey carcass added; sounds like great flavor and what a good idea of how to use the carcass with all the bits of turkey left on it. We will try it this week to have on one of our cold nights! Thank you.
Mar. 10, 2010 3:19 pm
I have friends that don't eat pork so they replace the ham with a smoked turkey leg and it is always good.
Mar. 13, 2010 11:31 am
I have cooked split pea soup with a ham hock for almost 50 years of married life (this March 19, 2010). Got the recipe from the 1953 Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Book. Cut the water, pre-simmered the peas 5 min. and let sit 1 hour, drained, then added the amount of water called for. We have loved this soup, but all the above suggestions are wonderful. Don't know if my "staid" husband would change his mind and I was planning to make the soup tonight and it is 50 degrees out in Cheyenne, WY today. Whoopee.
May 7, 2010 10:19 pm
I absolutely LOVE split pea soup...so comforting, nourishing, filling and one bowl gives you all the needed fiber for the day. Its amazing soup. Ive bought a brandnew 7 qt crockpot and now I can make this soup in the am and have it ready when I come home for lunch! No standing at the stove most the am or pm cooking. Gotta LOVE crockpots too! As the add ins for the last hour of cooking Id add sauteed onions and garlic, (love garlic in this soup) along with sauteed carrots and potatoes. Curry powder is absolutely delicious in split peas soup as the other gentleman added who posted earlier. Enjoy folks!!! and remember it certainly does not have to be fall or winter to make this soup...spring AND summer is perfect too! Have a great spring to everyone everywhere.
art courtright 
Sep. 1, 2010 6:33 pm
Oct. 8, 2010 9:37 pm
This soup is amazing with leftover beef bones as well. In lieu of a hamhock or hambone, use a couple of bones from a standing rib roast, or a few from some steaks. The beef adds an amazing flavor. If you dont have some beef bones on hand, try this recipe with cutting the water in half and replacing with some beef broth. Adds a good, hearty thump to the soup.
Nov. 4, 2010 7:38 pm
Am looking for a receipe that uses milk in pea soup. As a little girl our babysitter, a then older woman made it and it was awesome with sort of chunks of peas in it. Other ingred. were as usual. Thanks
Nov. 11, 2010 11:11 pm
My family's favorite for leftover ham. I make a 6 qt. crock full. I've even made it & frozen individual bowls for college kids to take back with them. They love it! Sometimes ham hocks or whatever don't have enough smokey flavor. So, I add 1/2 capful of liquid smoke right before serving. A little Liquid Smoke goes a long way...so be cautious.
Nov. 11, 2010 11:13 pm
Oh...almost forgot...if you like smooth & creamy split pea soup, add a little milk or cream & immulsify the whole batch.
Nov. 11, 2010 11:16 pm
If you prefer meatless split pea soup, just add a little liquid smoke to the pot before serving. It will give the flavor w/o the meat.
Jan. 4, 2011 8:25 am
I make split peas soup all the time. my recipe consist of: 1/2 lb yellow split peas 3 chicken thighs and legs (can use wings or breast) 1/4 cup dice onion 1 stalk dice celery 1 large dice carrot 2 dice white potatoes 1/4 box of this spegetti broke up in four. salt and pepper to taste 5 cups water 1 can checken broth dumplings (can be homemade or frozen) combine all ingredients in a large pot on high heat until it comes to a boil. reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for 20 minutes. When everything is cooked up to a thick sauce, combine dumplings soup is ready when dumplings are cooked My mom made this soup for us all the time. She called it "split peas dumpling soup." Try it I think you'll love it.
Jan. 16, 2011 12:39 pm
My husband was from Holland, so he taught me how to make an excellent pea soup. Over the years I have added my own ideas and the best one yet is to add celery root (celeriac) in the beginning. It's getting harder to find, but when you do, it's really worth it!!!!
Jan. 21, 2011 1:17 pm
I just bought a small bone in ham, about 4 lbs. Can I just throw the whole thing in or do I have to take all the meat off? It's going down into the single digits this weekend and I am dying to try this recipe!
Apr. 21, 2011 5:44 pm
Being lazy by nature, I do it the easy way. Cover the washed peas with plenty of water,simmer with the lid cocked for 45 min,whisk until smooth,add small diced carrot,a pinch of knorr chicken bouillon and whatever else strikes your fancy.Reduce or add water to the cosistency you prefer
Aug. 17, 2011 2:48 pm
NEED help......the last couple of pots of split pea soup....the split peas never got "soft" ....they remained crunchy even after three hours of simmering.
Aug. 21, 2011 3:46 am
Hi Suzie Someone above posted: "If you like to flavor your soup with tomatoes, lemon juice, vinegar, wine or any other acidic ingredients, wait until the end of cooking to add these, or else the acid will prevent the uncooked split peas from getting soft." Could something like that be causing your crunchy peas perhaps? Good luck with the next batch!
Sep. 18, 2011 8:02 pm
My daughter doesn't like the texture of pea soup. Her husband added cheese of some kind. any comments here?
Sep. 18, 2011 8:11 pm
More on the above: She doesn't know what kind of cheese or when it was added, but it was fine for her then.
Sep. 27, 2011 8:11 pm
split peas and ham made me crazy and i love eat all the time I hope 5 stars! wink
Nov. 1, 2011 10:10 am
I like to add Old Bay seasoning to my pea soup. Gives it a little kick YUM YUM
Dec. 9, 2011 9:29 pm
Well without the ham you would not get the smokey salty hammy goodness, i would suggest you try out the vegan recipe as listed above http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegan-Split-Pea-Soup-I/Detail.aspx
Dec. 14, 2011 7:10 am
do you think I can use frozen sweet peas instead of split peas, for any of these wonderful sounding pea soups? I have TONS in my freezer!
Feb. 28, 2012 7:44 pm
I have always made split pea soup with a ham bone but this time I didn't have one so I bought smoked pork neck bones and it is the best I have ever made. You would be surprised how much meat is on the neck bones. Also I made it in the crockpot which is so much easier.
Mar. 4, 2012 11:56 am
Has anyone ever used Yellow Split Peas? They are wonderful; use the Yellow Peas the same as you would use Green Split Peas! I think they are much better than the green ones, a little lighter flavor perhaps. Try them, I think you will like them. Don't forget the "Johnny Cake" or "Corn Bread"! I am originally from Maine..we call it "Johnny Cake"! Here is my recipe I got years ago from my Mother-In-Law. 1 Egg,1/4 cup sugar,1 tsp baking soda in 1 cup milk,SIFT TOGETHER-2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar,1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup Flour and add to egg,sugar,milk and baking soda mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 min. 9x13 pan "Life is Good when you eat Yellow Pea Soup and Johnny Cake"!
Argent Star 
Apr. 20, 2012 3:52 am
To Suak, I don't see any corn meal in your recipe. Did you forget it?
Jan. 1, 2013 12:16 pm
My mom made the best split pea soup. She added a ham bone, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Then at the end of cooking she added a can of evaporated milk. I still make it and have used ham hocks as well. I don't like the way it turns out when I use just ham. I'm going to incorporate some of thes ideas into my next pot!
Apr. 5, 2013 9:54 am
I always have problems with the peas falling apart, no matter how long I cook them. I always do it the same way but they do not always fall apart. Could I have a bag of peas that are old, right from the store? I have tried soaking them in 1 &1/2 baking soda after boiling them 2 min. Then letting them sit in the fridge overnight and rinsing really well. It does soften them but I lose half the peas with the rinsing.
Jan. 11, 2014 7:37 pm
I've been looking for a good pea soup recipe for ages....in my area they all seem to have added mint. I'm also making more home-made soups as bought ones now have overwhelming smounts of pepper or chilli powder added. Home fresh is best. Well done everyone.
Dec. 20, 2014 9:29 pm
I don't agree that the only difference is the color between the yellow split peas and the green ones. The yellow is better, I think if you try both you will agree that the yellow peas are wonderful. My family will only eat the soup made with the yellow peas. I add carrots,celery onions, and ham. I also add chicken broth and some other seasonings and it is a real winner,.Pappy's is a wonderful seasoning if you can find it. It is made in Fresno , CA.
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