Are you looking for a great and simple split pea soup recipe? As far as I’m concerned, no soup has more history. Its roots date back to as early as 400 BC when the Greeks and Romans were selling hot pea soup in the streets. Now, thousands of years later, it is still a popular dish enjoyed by people all over the world. The Germans eat it with sausage, the Dutch make it with celery and the Canadians often top it with dumplings. Whatever recipe, the main ingredient remains the same – dried yellow or green split peas.
There are several things I really like about this soup. First of all, it is very flavorful! The peas are rinsed and simmered alongside other vegetables and seasonings in a broth made from meat/bones or a simple vegetable broth. Just to prove how delicious this soup is, allow me to talk about my husband for a moment. He is not picky and enjoys most any food put in front of him, but ever since he was a kid, he’s never cared for peas … yet, he loves split pea soup!? Secondly, the soup can be made in about an hour from start to finish. Unlike dried beans, peas do not need to be soaked overnight. They are merely rinsed and cooked alongside the other ingredients for 45 minutes on the stove. As a matter of fact, this soup is so simple that it is the main soup served year round in the Polish military! Homemade split pea soup is also very inexpensive. You can buy a pound of dried peas for less than $2 at the grocery store. The other ingredients are probably already in your pantry!
Are you ready to learn how to make this hearty, healthy soup?
Come on in to my kitchen!
Here are the ingredients….dried peas, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, seasoning and broth. Simple! The recipe base I am using comes from Ina Garten in what she calls “Parker’s Split Pea Soup” However, I’ve made a few adaptations to her recipe.
I’m omitting the oregano
I’m adding more potatoes and peeling them first
Instead of chicken broth, I’m using ham hock for a homemade broth
It’s essential that you use 8 cups of broth for 1 pound of dried peas, but what I love about this recipe is that any broth will do – beef, chicken, vegetable or like today, homemade broth from a ham hock (portion of hog leg). If you’ve never tried cooking with one, give it a go! These guys really flavor up a soup and you can easily inquire about them at your grocer’s meat department or local butcher.
If using a ham hock like me, I recommend scoring it first and searing it in a hot pan on both sides to release some of the fat. Then, take it out and set it aside.
Rinse your 1 pound of dried peas with water, sorting through them to ensure there aren’t any weirdos in there 🙂
Now, in a large stockpot, heat 2 T. of olive oil and sauté 1 cup of chopped yellow onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Stir it around on medium heat until the onion and garlic are translucent and fragrant – about 5 minutes.
In the same stock pot, dump in 2 cups diced carrots, 1 1/2 cups diced and peeled red potatoes, your rinsed peas, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper. Pour 8 cups of chicken, beef or vegetable stock over all … OR add your seared ham hock and 8 cups of water. Stir well and turn the soup on high until it boils.
When the soup boils, turn the heat down low enough to allow a nice, rolling simmer (uncovered) for 45 minutes. You will need to occasionally stir the soup during this time to allow for even cooking. Also, if using a ham hock, you will need to skim off any heavy foam that comes to the top of the soup.
After 45 minutes of simmering, this is what you will see – a rich, hearty soup with lots of wonderful flavor. The peas will be soft and if using green peas, the honored green hue. I removed my ham hock here and pulled off some of the meat to add back in!
Give it a taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Then ladle the hot soup into bowls and watch your family eat it up!
- 8 cups beef, chicken, vegetable broth or ham hock and 8 cups water
- 1 pound dried yellow or green split peas
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1½ cups diced and peeled red potatoes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- If using a ham hock, score it with a knife and sear it in a hot pan on both sides to release some of the fat. Set aside.
- Rinse 1 pound of dried peas with water and sort through them to ensure consistency.
- In a large stockpot, heat 2 T. of olive oil and sauté 1 cup of chopped yellow onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Stir them around on medium heat until the onions and garlic are translucent and fragrant - about 5 minutes.
- In the same stock pot, dump in 2 cups diced carrots, 1½ cups diced and peeled red potatoes, your rinsed peas, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper. Pour 8 cups of chicken, beef or vegetable stock over all OR add your seared ham hock and 8 cups of water. Stir well and turn the soup on high until it boils.
- When the soup boils, turn the heat down low enough to allow a nice, rolling simmer (uncovered) for 45 minutes. Occasionally stir the soup during this time to allow for even cooking. If using a ham hock, skim off any heavy foam that floats to the top.
- After simmering, the peas will be soft. Add more salt/pepper if needed.
- If using a ham hock, pull off any meat and add it back in, if desired
Meredith is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom living in NW Ohio. She loves to adapt recipes to her family’s eclectic tastes and is learning to provide nourishment for any bellies who walk through the door at a moment’s notice. If not in the kitchen, you’ll find Meredith in front of her sewing machine or spending quality time with her home and church families. Life goes by so fast!