This split pea soup is packed with high-protein split peas, fresh vegetables, and chicken drumsticks. It’s the perfect soup to nourish your whole family.

Split Pea Soup

What Is Split Pea Soup?

Split pea soup is a hearty soup made with sauteéd vegetables (featuring green split peas), potatoes, and chicken. The soup has a golden yellow-green color and a deliciously thick and creamy texture from the split peas.

This split pea soup recipe is a version that comes directly from my grandma’s kitchen. Growing up in Ukraine, there was a lack of food diversity, so my family often made this soup when fresh vegetables were scarce but split peas were abundant. Out of necessity, we created a hearty meal with what we had.

Did you know? Split peas are regular peas that have been cut in half and dried to make them more shelf-stable and faster to cook.

How To Make Split Pea Soup

This split pea soup is made of wholesome ingredients and takes only 25 minutes of prep time. After an additional 50 minutes of cooking, your soup will be ready to devour!

  • Make the broth: To make the chicken broth, place the chicken into a pot of boiling salted water and cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is almost fully cooked.
  • Sauté the aromatics: In a frying pan, sauté the diced yellow onion and carrots until they are tender. Then, add the veggies to the pot.
  • Add the peas: Add the split peas to the pot, then season with salt and black pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 20 minutes.
  • Slice the potatoes: Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks, then add them to the soup. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the dill and cook for about five more minutes.
  • Serve: Serve the soup while it’s warm.

Hot tip: If you like even creamier soup, use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency. Or, let it simmer longer until more liquid evaporates.

Meats To Use in Split Pea Soup

An awesome perk about split pea soup is that the ingredients are very versatile. The earthy flavor of split peas pairs well with almost any meat. Feel free to play around with the type of protein in the soup to get a different, yet delicious, outcome each time.

  • Chicken thighs: Chicken thighs are a freezer staple in most households. Use either bone-in or boneless skinless thighs in this soup.
  • Ham: If you have extra ham left over from the holidays or a dinner party, use it up!
  • Ham hock (or ham bone): Ham hock is a cheap and delicious alternative to actual ham. Pop a ham hock into the soup and let it slow cook and release all that delicious ham flavor. Or, if you have a leftover ham bone, do the same! Yum!
  • Bacon crisps: If you prefer a soup that’s heavier on the veggies, skip the meat in the beginning and just top the soup with crispy air fried bacon bits.
  • Bone-in beef: Craving a beefy flavor? Snag a few bone-in beef short ribs, beef shanks, or oxtail. All the delicious marrow and collagen from the bones make for a delicious, beefy broth.
  • Vegetarian option: If you prefer to be 100% vegetarian, double up on the vegetables and use a vegetable broth concentrate to season the soup.
Split Pea Soup in a bowl

Soup Tips & Tricks

Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned veteran at making split pea soup, here are three tips guaranteed to help you on your journey.

  • Soak the peas before cooking: If you have time, soak the peas overnight. If not, soak them for an hour before cooking. Soaking helps speed up the cooking process — however, don’t fret if you don’t have time to spare! The soup may just take a little bit longer to cook.
  • Alter the consistency: For a thicker soup, continue cooking and stirring until the split peas are cooked down and the soup is thick. For a thinner soup, add more water or chicken broth.
  • Add more ingredients: For more flavor, sauté a few cloves of garlic and celery and combine them with the onions and carrots. Feel free to season with your favorite spices such as garlic powder, cayenne, thyme, or a few bay leaves. Or, add Better than Bouillon to the broth for a major flavor boost.

Hot tip: Peas are high in fiber and contain a natural sugar that may lead to gassiness. Rinsing and soaking the peas is thought to help reduce this!

Serving Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is a whole meal on its own, so there’s not much you’ll need to add, except for the classic soup and bread pairing. Make this easy no-knead bread, garlic knots, or easy flatbread to soak up that nice broth hanging out at the bottom of your soup bowl!

If you like soup toppings, add croutons, grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream, or fresh herbs on top of individual bowls of soup. For a salad pairing that can almost pass as dessert, make berry spinach salad or pear and walnut salad.

Storing & Reheating The Soup

This split pea soup recipe makes eight servings, so chances are you’ll have at least a few bowls of soup left over. Here are a few pointers to make storing and reheating your soup trouble-free.

  • Refrigerator: To store leftovers for up to three days, place the cooled soup in an airtight container. Don’t worry if you notice the soup thickening up in the fridge — it’s totally normal and fixable!
  • Freezer: To store leftover soup for up to three months, place the cooled soup in an airtight container. Leave about an inch of empty space at the top of the container to allow the soup room to expand as it freezes. Thaw the soup in the fridge when you’re ready to enjoy it again.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftover soup on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently to evenly warm the soup. The soup should thin out a bit as it warms, but if needed, add a little bit of water to make it your desired consistency.

More Slavic Soup Recipes

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.