It's Easier Than You Think to Make Split Pea Soup from Scratch
Cooking soups with dry beans or peas can be intimidating because of the need to pre-soak them and the challenge of adding flavor. However, split peas are easy on both counts. They do not need to pre-soak very long, so they can be soaked and cooked on the same day. And while you can buy "split pea soup" flavoring packets, you do not need them. Split pea soup tastes just fine with simple salt and pepper, or a bouillon cube if you desire.
This recipe makes split pea soup even easier by simply adding chopped pre-cooked ham at the end of the recipe.
It is a perfect recipe for those who are just starting out in making bean soups from scratch.
Because of the cooking time, you do need to be in the house for a little more than an hour while it is cooking. However, most of that time it is just simmering on the stove. You can be doing other things while it cooks.
- 1 cup dry split peas
- 1 small carrot or several baby carrots, chopped
- 1/4 onion, chopped (optional)
- 1 beef or pork flavored bouillon cube, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, (or more to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- about 1/4 cup chopped cooked ham
- Combine dry split peas and 4 cups water in a large pot. Bring to the boil. Boil two minutes; remove from heat.
- Let stand at least one hour. Obviously, you do not need to be in the house while the peas are standing in the water, as long as you remembered to turn off the burner.
1. Drain the split peas. Return to the pot. Add an another four cups water, plus the chopped carrots, chopped onion, salt, pepper, and bouillon cube if desired.
The photo at the top of this article shows what the split peas look like after they have been soaked, with carrots and bouillon cube on top. (With split pea soup, the ingredients tend to be more photogenic than the finished product!)
(I did not add the onion to this recipe, because my kids don't like it.)
2. Bring to the boil. Once the mixture is boiling, cover partly, turn down the heat, and keep it simmering until the split peas are soft enough to break apart slightly when you stir them (about one hour).
3. When the soup is ready, add pre-cooked ham cubes, stir, and heat through.
4. Serve. Serve with whole-grain rolls, biscuits or cornbread for a nutritionally complete meal. Split pea soup plus biscuits will make you feel full quickly! Have salt and pepper on the table so your guests or family can flavor the soup to suit their taste.
The soup will thicken on standing. If you reheat leftovers, you will need to add water.