This split pea soup recipe is just what you need during cold winter days. You can cook the most soothing and heartwarming soups that will make you want to stay inside all day, sipping bowls of warm comfort.
What Is Split Pea Soup?
Split pea soup is made from dried peas, such as split peas or green beans. It is often grayish-green or yellow depending on the types of peas used.
Split pea soup is an ancient recipe that has been enjoyed across cultures and in many cuisines. In the United States, it is often cooked from powdered concentrates.
Split pea soup can be a smooth puree like pumpkin soup, or a thinner soup with visible peas, vegetables, and baked bacon. It has a smoky flavor and a lightly sweet taste that everyone will love!
Is Split Pea Soup Healthy?
Sipping a bowl of hearty split pea soup not only brings you instant warmth — no matter how cold or sad you may be — but also offers a variety of health benefits:
- Helps weight loss: According to scientists (and personal experience), soups can be as filling as solid foods. You can serve your favorite soup as a regular meal without worrying you’ll soon become hungry again.
Consider including some meat into your split pea soup to add protein if needed. A side salad would also be a wonderful complement to this split pea soup.
- Improves bone health and wound healing: Split peas are especially rich in vitamin K. This vitamin teams up with vitamin D to ensure calcium is delivered properly into the bones, thus helping them develop normally.
Moreover, vitamin K plays an important role in triggering blood clotting, protecting you from blood loss. With a smaller chance of severe bleeding from cuts, your wound may heal more quickly and effectively.
- Has a positive effect on heart health: These wonderful peas also contain a significant amount of heart-healthy minerals like potassium and magnesium. The combination of such minerals helps relieve tension in your blood vessel walls, preventing high blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Fuels gut bacteria: Legumes, like beans, peas, and lentils are some of the best sources of fiber to nourish your gut bacteria. Balanced and thriving gut bacteria is essential for good health. Pulses are also associated with improved heart health, digestive function, weight management, and reduced cancer risk.
Split Pea Soup Nutrition
While canned split pea soup can be found at any local store, we suggest you make it at home. Preparing homemade split pea soup not only helps you avoid some food additives, but also improves the nutritional content significantly.
Each serving of our split pea soup contains 248 calories. We suggest serving this soup as a side with a main dish for a nutritious 750-calorie dinner or lunch.
Split pea soup is a great all-in-one meal. Each serving of this split pea soup contains 33 grams of carbohydrates, which is 11% of the recommended daily intake for women (see our Cauliflower Soup Recipe for only 16 grams per serving). Containing various types of vegetables, this soup is also a good source of fiber (12 grams per serving) and vitamins A and C.
This recipe is an easy way to get all your essential nutrients in one dish.
Split Pea Soup Ingredients
With a short list of ingredients, split pea soup is a humble soup. All you need to do is simmer split peas with vegetables of your choice until thick and hearty.
The basic recipe calls for four main ingredients:
- Split peas
- Heavy cream
Simple, readily available ingredients make a comforting dish that is savory, sweet, and creamy with a touch of smokiness. You can leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version, and for a legume alternative, try this tasty lentil soup with spinach and sausage.
How To Make Split Pea Soup
So, what makes the best split pea soup? High-quality ingredients and a proper cooking method. Here are some key takeaways to help you achieve a simple, yet savory soup on your first try!
Prep the peas: In a small soup pot, bring 3 cups of water and the peas to a boil, and boil for 20 minutes. Then drain the peas in a mesh strainer.
Sauté vegetables: Heat butter in a large pot over low heat. Add carrot, celery, garlic, and onion. Cook and stir often for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
Add split peas and herbs: Add split peas and bay leaf, and continue stirring until combined.
Add liquid: Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream, bring to a boil. Season with salt.
Simmer: Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer until the split peas are soft and falling apart and the soup is thickened to desired consistency.
Blend: Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. However, remember to let your soup cool down a bit before jumping into this step.
Serve: Pour soup into bowls. Top with the cooked bacon and the baked baguette.
How Long to Cook Split Peas
The cooking time of the split pea soup recipe depends on the way you prepare split peas. Soaking peas in water shortens their cooking time.
Unsoaked peas require 1-2 hours of simmering while the soaked ones take less than 1 hour.
How Do You Thicken Split Pea Soup?
If your soup is looking a bit too thin or doesn’t have the exact density you desire, you may have unintentionally added too much water. Well, don’t panic, because there’s a way back!
There are several easy methods to handle the situation, using something you may already have on hand:
Cornstarch: This is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used to make the coating mix for classic fried chicken or to form a sturdy pizza crust, and is also an effective thickener. Plus, due to having no flavor at all, it will not spoil the taste of your soup.
Simply whisk a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch into a little bit of cold water in a separate bowl before adding it slowly into your soup. This prevents the cornstarch from congealing and helps it dissolve into the soup evenly.
Cream: Cream is also one of the easiest ways to thicken your soup. Be sure to add the cream near the end of cooking. If the cream stays in boiling soup liquid for too long, it will curdle into floating chunks, which is not nice at all.
What Goes with This Soup
1. Ham and Carrots
Ham and carrots are made for each other. Carrots add sweetness to almost any soup, while savory ham balances out the earthy flavor of the peas.
If you can’t find fresh ham, look in the frozen meat section for frozen.
Bacon is a wonderful enhancer, giving the soup a smokey flavor. Crispy bacon also makes an interesting contrast to the silky texture of the soup.
Potatoes release starches to create a silky texture. We love traditional veggies like onion and celery, but you can substitute other ingredients like spinach.
How Long Does Split Pea Soup Last?
Left at room temperature, you should finish the soup within 2 hours. If you store it in the fridge, split pea soup will last up to 3 days.
Can You Freeze Split Pea Soup?
Yes, you can. Frozen split pea soup can last up to 6 months. The recipe contains dairy, so we recommend using the ice method to reduce the soup temperature instead of letting it cool down at room temperature.
For the ice method, simply place your container in a bowl filled with ice and cold water. Stir the container regularly so the food cools down evenly.
Split Pea Soup Recipe
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 oz onion chopped
- 1 oz celery chopped
- 1 oz carrot chopped
- 1 tsp bay leaf
- 1 tsp garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 6 oz green split peas
- 3 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 0.4 oz bacon baked
- 1 oz baguette baked
- 3 cups water
- In a small soup pot, bring 3 cups of water and the peas to a boil, and boil for 20 minutes. Then drain the peas in a mesh strainer.
- Heat butter in a large pot over low heat. Add carrot, celery, garlic, and onion. Cook and stir often for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
- Add split peas and bay leaf, and continue stirring until combined.
- Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream, bring to a boil. Season with salt.
- Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, until the split peas are soft and falling apart and the soup is thickened to desired consistency.
- Remember to stir occasionally, and more frequently once the soup starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender.
- Pour soup into bowls. Top with the cooked bacon and the baked baguette.