The Best Easy Split Pea Soup Recipe

You'll love this quick and easy split pea soup recipe, even if you think making a homemade split pea soup recipe from scratch takes too much effort.

It's a wonderful dinner recipe to cook during those busy weeknights. That's because it's much simpler to put together than you think!

A lug handled bowl of split pea soup with spoon and colorful napkin.

Why this recipe works

A batch of this split pea soup takes about 60 minutes. Most of that is simmer time when you can be doing other things like cleaning up or helping the kids with homework.

Plus, the taste of this green pea soup is so worth it. It's amazing!

Especially when you compare it to canned soup, which can be full of sodium and other ingredients you may not want.

Ingredients

  • Split peas – you can use green split peas, yellow split peas, or even orange ones!
  • Chicken stock or vegetable stock (chicken or vegetable broth is fine, too)
  • Olive oil
  • Red onion (you can also use yellow onion or even celery stalks)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Split pea soup in white soup bowls, spoons, bread, and red napkins.

How to make easy split pea soup

This split pea soup recipe is based on a friend's recipe, and I make it at least once a month during the cold weather months.

  1. Pour the bag of split peas onto a plate to check that there are no rocks or other foreign objects in with the peas.
  2. Heat olive oil in a 4-quart pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, minced garlic, thyme, pepper, and salt. Stirring frequently, sauté until onions soften, start to brown and caramelize.
  3. Add stock and peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  4. Cover pot and simmer 60 minutes or until peas are soft. Stir occasionally.
  5. You can puree the soup in a blender, a food processor, or with a wand blender if you wish.
  6. Serve with gluten-free bread and a nice side salad.
  7. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week.

FAQ

Can you make this vegan?

Looking to make a vegan split pea recipe? Use vegetable stock to make this into a vegan or vegetarian split pea soup recipe.

Is this soup gluten-free?

Check the label to make sure the stock or broth you're using is gluten-free. Make sure to check those labels while shopping at the grocery store.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Reduce the amount of broth to 3 cups.

Add all ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on low heat for about 8 hours.

However, in my opinion, it's easier and more delicious to make this on the stovetop.

Can I make this in an Instant Pot?

Yes! Here's how:

1. Press the Saute setting. Heat up your pot for a couple of minutes, then add the olive oil.

2. Add onions, minced garlic, thyme, pepper, and salt. Saute for 3 minutes. Then press Cancel. 

3. Pour in the chicken broth. Add the split peas. If you're adding a ham bone or ham hock, place it in the Instant Pot at this time.

4. Cover with the lid and press Manual mode. Set to 15 minutes.

5. When the time is up, allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Then do a quick release to get rid of the remaining pressure in your pressure cooker.

Read and learn how to do a quick release and a natural release on your Instant Pot.

Overhead shot of green pea soup in white soup bowls with lug handles, soup spoons, red napkins, sprigs of thyme, and pieces of bread.

Variations

Adding ham

If you like, you can add a smoked ham hock to the soup for a marvelous smoky flavor. Add the ham hocks to the soup when you add the peas.

You can also add leftover chopped spiral-cut ham to the soup to turn it into a ham and pea soup recipe. Add the small pieces of leftover ham 10 minutes to the pot before serving.

I also like using the leftover ham shank or a meaty ham bone from a holiday ham in this recipe.

Pureeing the soup

For a smooth and creamy soup, run it through a high-speed blender, a food processor, or use a hand blender directly in the Dutch oven.

Using a high immersion hand blender is the easiest way to puree this soup since you don't have to transfer it to the blender and then back into the pot.

If you don't have an immersion blender, treat yourself to one!

Bowls of split pea soup with soup spoons, pieces of bread, sprigs of thyme, red napkins, on a wooden tabletop.

Can I freeze split pea soup?

Make a double batch of this recipe and freeze half for later.

1. Cool the soup down.

Don't leave the soup on the counter to cool down. This isn't a good food safety practice. (Yeah, yeah, I know we all do it. But still.)

Instead, you can cool the soup down rapidly by placing the pot or Dutch oven in a bath of ice water in the sink. Stir the best split pea soup often to cool it down more quickly.

2. Store the soup. 

You can pour the soup into freezer-safe food storage containers.

Some people also like freezing vegetable soup in gallon Ziploc freezer bags. This can be a bit tricky to do, but it has the advantage that you can then stack the frozen bags in your freezer, which saves space.

To pour the soup into the freezer bag:

  1. Place the bag in a bowl.
  2. Cuff the bag over the edge of the bowl.
  3. Ladle the soup into each bag.

(You can also have a helper hold the bag open for you.) Then carefully press out any air. Seal up the bag.

Remember to label and date the containers or bags.

3. Freeze the soup. 

Stack the containers or lay the Ziploc freezer bags flat in a single layer in the freezer. After the bags freeze, you can then stack the bags to save freezer space.

The soup should remain good for at least three months.

4. Thaw and reheat.

To thaw, defrost the containers overnight in the refrigerator.

Another way to thaw the frozen soup is to place the containers or freezer bags in a large bowl full of room temperature water to melt in a few hours.

Then you can warm the soup up on the stovetop or microwave it.

Three bowls of pea soup in white soup bowls with a red napkin, spoon and bread.

How to make your own stock in the slow cooker

I make homemade stock in my slow cooker to use in split pea soup and other healthy recipes. That way I don't have to worry about gluten or other additives.

1. After roasting a chicken or turkey, take the carcass or bones and place them in your slow cooker. Cover with water.

2. Add some herbs to the water – thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves, rosemary, etc. Dried or fresh will work.

3. Add a crushed garlic clove or two. Cut up an onion, a couple of carrots, parsnips, and some stocks of celery (whatever you have on hand), and add them all to the slow cooker.

4. Cover and cook on low overnight or for 8 to 10 hours.

5. Remove large bones and vegetables from the slow cooker and strain the liquid into food storage containers. Label with date and type of stock (turkey, chicken, etc.).

6. If you want, you can pour the stock into a couple of ice cube trays. Freeze and store cubes in freezer bags to use when you just need a little stock in your cooking.

Looking for more soup recipes for a busy weeknight?

● Try this 30-minute Pozole Recipe. It's a simple recipe for when you don't have much time.

● Searching for a comforting soup? You'll love this Kale Soup Recipe.

● You'll also enjoy this Easy Tomato & Okra Soup, and it makes a lovely meal with some hearty bread.

● Serve this creamy gluten free cream of mushroom soup for dinner. You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make from scratch!

● Make this easy Instant Pot Potato Soup recipe in about an hour. Made with bacon, it’s creamy and delicious.

Yield: 6 SERVINGS

The Best Easy Split Pea Soup Recipe

Three bowls of split pea soup with bread, sprigs of thyme, spoons, and red napkins.

Need a healthy split pea soup recipe? Here's a vegetarian split pea soup that can be made in an hour.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound split peas
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Pour peas onto a plate to check that there are no rocks or other foreign objects in with the peas.
  2. Heat olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, minced garlic, thyme, pepper, and salt. Stirring frequently, sauté until onions soften, start to brown and caramelize.
  3. Add stock and peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 60 minutes or until peas are soft. Stir occasionally.
  4. You can puree the soup in a blender, a food processor, or with a wand blender if you wish.
  5. Serve with some bread and a nice side salad.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate Affiliate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 474mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 7gSugar: 3gProtein: 39g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally posted on February 9, 2015. Updated with new pictures and information.

20 thoughts on “The Best Easy Split Pea Soup Recipe

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      The advantage of having the yearly pig roast is having the leftover bones to make stock from! It’s such a big animal that I have to freeze the bones and make the stock in batches. Inevitably, I find another bag of bones under a pile of frozen cheese or bread.

      Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      I’m tempted to make it again soon since this weekend it’s going to be cold in Georgia. Thanks for stopping by Miz Helen!

      Reply
  1. colleen @ Secrets from the Cookie Princess

    It’s definitely soup weather here in New England and this would be great to warm up with. And thanks for the stock tutorial!

    Reply
  2. Rebekah @ Making Miracles

    That looks SO comforting and cozy. I adore split pea and ham soup but have never made it at home before.

    Reply
  3. Marsha @ The Harried Cook

    I absolutely adore split pea soup and this sounds delicious! Your photography, as always, is incredible! I am so glad I got to cook from your blog before you decided to leave SRC. I look forward to continuing to cook from your blog because I have a lot of recipes bookmarked! Great post! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Kate

    I love split pea soup! Your changes kick it up to the next level. Sorry to read that you are leaving the group. It has been nice cooking with you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Kelly Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1