This classic recipe for split pea soup comes directly from my Grandma’s kitchen. Made from simple, wholesome ingredients, it nourishes and nurtures you at the same time!
Nowadays, split pea soup is once again becoming popular. There’s even a restaurant, once aired on Food Network, that only serves pea soup and does very well in business.
Despite split pea soup being one of my favorite wintertime meals, the origin of the soup comes from a lack of food diversity in Ukraine. My family would make it when fresh vegetables were scarce and split peas were abundant. Out of necessity, we created a hearty meal with what we had. In many ways, this soup is representative of my people’s resilience in tough times.
Is Split Pea Soup Healthy?
Ukrainians love their soups. We grew up eating them during the harsh winters and revering them as comfort foods. So, when I came to America, I was surprised to see that split pea soup was classified as a “health food”. And, as we all know, healthy food isn’t always characterized as delicious.
However, this recipe is absolutely healthy for you and tasty at the same time. Packed with high-protein split peas and fresh vegetables, this soup is a hearty and healthy option for lunch or dinner. I guess you can have your cake and eat it too! Or in this case your split pea soup…
Meats to Use in Split Pea Soup
The awesome thing about split pea soup is that it is very versatile. The earthy flavor of split peas pairs so well with almost any meat. You can play around with the kinds of protein you use and get a different, yet delicious, outcome each time. Here are a few of my family’s favorites:
- Chicken thighs: Either bone-in or skinless and boneless chicken works great.
- Ham: This is a great option when you have extra ham leftover from the holidays or a dinner party.
- Ham Bone (or Ham Hock): This is a cheap and delicious alternative to using actual ham. Pop a ham hock into the soup and let it slow cook and release all that delicious ham flavor. Yum!
- Bacon Crisps: Skip adding meat altogether and top your soup with crispy fried bacon bits.
- Bone-in Beef: Craving a beefy flavor? Snag some bone-in beef short ribs, beef shanks or oxtail. All the delicious marrow and collagen from the bones will make for an awesome, beefy broth.
- Vegetarian Option: If you want the recipe to be 100% vegetarian, double up on the vegetables and use a vegetable broth concentrate to season the soup.
Should you Soak your Peas Before Cooking?
If you have the time, soak your peas overnight. If not, try to soak them for an hour before cooking. This will speed up the cooking process. If you don’t have the time, don’t worry. Split peas cook much faster than most beans do and you can still get a great soup on the table in around an hour.
What Goes Good With Split Pea Soup?
In my opinion, there is nothing like having a big bowl of soup with a nice chunk of bread. Try making my Easy No-Knead Bread Recipe or my Easy Flatbread Recipe. Now that you’ve got the bread situation worked out, go ahead and soak up that nice broth hanging out at the bottom of your soup bowl!
Other Classic Soup Recipes You May Like
- Red Borscht Recipe – everyone knows about this amazing beet soup!
- Cabbage Soup Recipe – this one is a classic soup recipe that was passed down from my grandma as well.
- Fish Soup aka Ukha – a quick under 30-minute fish soup that every kid will love!
- Prepare the ingredients.
- Place the chicken into salted water and cook about 30 minutes, until it is almost fully cooked.
- In a frying pan, sauté the onions and carrots in oil. Cook until they are soft (7-10 minutes). Add the mixture to the boiling pot of chicken.
- Add the peas to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add sliced potatoes to the pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 20 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add dill and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the split pea soup while it's warm or reheat before serving.