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Yellow split pea soup recipe. Rib-sticking winter comfort food!

Updated on September 18, 2007

Homemade split pea soup...effortless winter cooking

Nothing satisfies more on a cold day than coming home to a rib-sticking split pea soup. For those unfortunates that have yet to try a real homemade split pea soup, please do not assume that the gloopy stuff passed off in cans is in any way reminiscent of the real thing, and although this recipe does require a number of hours of cooking time, the actual effort involved is truly negligible, and you can enjoy the simmering aroma all afternoon as you await dinner.

Cheap to make!

Although this tastes like a no-expense-spared kind of meal, making this soup costs next to nothing, and will provide enough leftovers to freeze for ample quantities of easy later weeknight suppers.

You can make this with either green or yellow split peas, but I prefer the yellow ones. You do want to use either some cured salt pork, or a meaty ham bone for flavoring the stock and peas, and for later garnishing the soup with shreds of the slow cooked ham. Do not use a fresh piece of ham, you need the pink cured stuff to get the taste right. If you choose to use salt pork (which is a perfectly acceptable substitute for those of you not blessed with an extra ham hock lying about) try to get a good and meaty piece, so as to have lots of meat for shredding and garnishing.

Yellow split pea soup (for a crowd)

  • 2 lbs dried yellow split peas
  • 4 liters (quarts) of water
  • 1 lb of salt pork or a big old meaty ham bone
  • 5 big onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 4 tsps salt (more to taste…depends a bit on the saltiness of the ham)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the peas off in running water. Heat a big and heavy soup pot over medium, add butter, and sauté onions for about 8 minutes, or until well softened (not browned though!).

Add ham or salt pork, peas and water, and bring to a boil, skimming off froth for a few minutes. When the soup clears, reduce heat to a simmer, and add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer slowly for about 3 hours, or until the peas are very soft and the soup has thickened. Taste for additional seasoning.

Take out the pork and shred the meat. When serving, garnish the soup with strips of ham, and with minced chives or green onions if desired.

This makes enough for a generous three meals for a family of four. If that sounds overwhelming, the recipe can be halved…but it's so easy to make more, and this freezes so well (and it's so cheap!!!) so you might as well make a big batch!


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I would never use ham in this. I would rather have a healthy soup,not one full of fat and salt.

    • Sun-Girl profile image


      9 years ago from Nigeria

      Great piece of article which i enjoyed reading from.

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      12 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Another great soup recipe from you, featuring one of my favorite dried vegetables--yellow split peas. When I make a yellow pea soup, I add a heaping tablespoon of fresh diced or grated ginger and a hefty cup of finely diced carrots...oops, looks like I ought to put my versions into a Hub as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

      Looks like Trish and I are going to be making some of your outstanding soup recipes when she comes to visit me next week. Thumbs up!

    • trish1048 profile image


      12 years ago

      Wow. Are you a professional chef? Your recipes are amazing, and so simple!


    • cgull8m profile image


      13 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree with Marye, it is ideal for winter. Thanks.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      13 years ago

      Yeah...may be a bit early yet; but I love this soup!

    • profile image

      Marye Audet 

      13 years ago

      mmm..I cant wait til it gets chilly enough!


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