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So simple and delicious, my favorite Split Pea Soup recipe is the ultimate winter comfort food that doesn’t break the bank. I make my split pea soup with bacon for a little bit of smokiness. It makes ALL the difference!
I can’t think of a better lunch or dinner than a big bowl of Split Pea Soup and a hunk of crusty, buttered bread. It’s a surprisingly substantial meal; its naturally creamy texture warms me up all the way to my toes. Seriously, I could make this soup every week and be happy.
A big pot of Split Pea Soup is a great way to use a leftover ham bone from the holidays, too. This easy pea soup can be made with ham bone, ham hocks, or even a fried-up ham steak for an extra hearty soup. Come to think of it, there’s just no wrong way to make Split Pea Soup.
- Fry bacon until crisp, then chop and set aside (keep the bacon fat! Fat = flavor).
- Cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in the rendered bacon fat until softened.
- Stir in butter and flour. Then, stir in broth, water, split peas, and bay leaves.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, or until thick and creamy.
- Remove bay leaves, add back chopped bacon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup:
Split Pea Soup and a crock pot are a match made in heaven! Throw the ingredients in at lunch and you’ll have perfect Split Pea Soup for dinner.
- In a skillet, fry the bacon. When crispy, remove the bacon and set aside. Add butter and flour to drippings in the skillet and stir until bacon fat, butter and flour are incorporated and slightly toasted, about 30 seconds.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
- In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the bacon drippings, split peas, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Mix well.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, or until peas are tender.
- Remove the bay leaves, add chopped bacon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
How to make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup:
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté and add the bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon, chop, and set aside.
- Add butter and flour to Instant Pot and stir, cooking for about 30 seconds.
- Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add split peas, bay leaves, thyme, and broth, and stir to combine. Lock lid and set machine to cook at high pressure for 12 minutes. When finished, carefully turn the steam valve to the venting position to release the pressure.
- Season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves, and add bacon.
How to make creamy Split Pea Soup:
Sometimes I use an immersion blender to purée some of the peas to intensify their creaminess, or take a couple cups and blend in a countertop blender. Works every time!
How long does Split Pea Soup last?
If you the soup it in an airtight container, split pea soup lasts for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze Split Pea Soup?
In my opinion, there simply isn’t a better, more freezable soup than Split Pea Soup. It’s so perfect for meal prep throughout the month, when time and money is in short supply.
I pour the soup into portions, leaving room at the top for the soup to expand during freezing. When I’m hungry, I pop the block of soup into a pot and reheat on low.
Split Pea Soup
- 6 slices bacon preferably thick cut
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound split peas rinsed and picked over
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- bread for garnish, optional
- In a dutch oven over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot, chop, and set aside. Do not drain grease.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the bacon fat and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add butter and flour and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add chicken broth, water, split peas, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat and continue simmering for about 2 hours, or until split peas are tender and soup becomes thick and creamy.
- Remove bay leaves, add chopped bacon, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with pieces of bread if desired.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.