If you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying meal that will warm you up on a chilly day, this hearty split pea soup recipe is perfect for you. Packed with nutritious ingredients and bursting with flavor, this soup will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Made with dried split peas, vegetables, and savory seasonings, it’s a comforting dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side. Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet, this split pea soup is a fantastic option. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to whip up a batch of this delicious soup in no time!
Ingredients for Hearty Split Pea Soup
- 1 pound dried split peas
- 1 ham bone or ham hock
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step-by-step Instructions for Making Hearty Split Pea Soup
- Start by rinsing 2 cups of dried split peas under cold water. Remove any debris or stones that you may find.
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion, 2 diced carrots, and 2 diced celery stalks. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the rinsed split peas to the pot and pour in 8 cups of vegetable broth. You can also use chicken or beef broth if you prefer.
- Season the soup with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1 hour, or until the split peas are tender and the soup has thickened.
- Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard it.
- Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Be careful when blending hot liquids.
- If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can skip the blending step and leave some of the split peas and vegetables intact.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or thyme according to your preference.
- Serve the hearty split pea soup hot, garnished with fresh parsley or croutons if desired.
Tips for Enhancing the Flavor and Texture of Split Pea Soup
- Add a ham bone or smoked ham hock to the soup while it simmers to infuse it with a rich, smoky flavor.
- Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery before adding them to the soup. This step will enhance their natural sweetness and add depth to the overall flavor.
- For a creamier texture, use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup. This will thicken it up and create a velvety consistency.
- Season the soup generously with herbs and spices such as thyme, bay leaves, garlic powder, and black pepper. These will add complexity and depth of flavor to the soup.
- Consider adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice at the end of cooking to brighten up the flavors and balance the richness of the soup.
- Garnish your split pea soup with fresh herbs like chopped parsley or a dollop of sour cream for an extra burst of freshness and creaminess.
- Allow the soup to sit for a while before serving. Split pea soup tends to thicken and develop more flavor as it sits, so letting it rest for a bit will enhance its taste.
- If desired, you can add other vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or parsnips to the soup for added texture and flavor variation.
Serving Suggestions and Pairings for Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup is a delicious and hearty dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other foods to create a complete meal. Here are some serving suggestions and pairings to enhance your split pea soup experience:
1. Crusty Bread
Nothing complements a bowl of split pea soup better than a slice of crusty bread. The crunchy texture and warm, doughy center of a freshly baked baguette or sourdough loaf are perfect for dipping into the soup. Spread some butter or olive oil on the bread for an extra layer of flavor.
2. Smoked Ham
For a classic pairing, serve your split pea soup with some slices of smoked ham. The smoky and savory flavor of the ham complements the earthy taste of the soup. You can either dice the ham and mix it into the soup or serve it on the side as a garnish.
3. Fresh Herbs
Add a touch of freshness to your split pea soup by garnishing it with some fresh herbs. Chopped parsley, cilantro, or dill can provide a burst of flavor and a vibrant pop of color. Simply sprinkle the herbs on top of the soup before serving.
4. Crumbled Bacon
If you’re a bacon lover, consider adding some crumbled bacon to your split pea soup. The salty and crispy bacon bits will add a delightful crunch and an extra layer of richness to the soup. Sprinkle the bacon on top or mix it into the soup for added indulgence.
5. Sour Cream or Yogurt
To add a creamy and tangy element to your split pea soup, serve it with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. The coolness and acidity of these dairy products will balance out the flavors and provide a creamy texture. Swirl the sour cream or yogurt into the soup right before eating.
Whether you choose to enjoy your split pea soup with some crusty bread, smoked ham, fresh herbs, crumbled bacon, or a dollop of sour cream, these serving suggestions and pairings will elevate your meal and make it even more satisfying. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite way to enjoy this comforting soup.
Storing and Freezing Leftover Split Pea Soup for Future Meals
Leftover split pea soup can be easily stored and frozen for future meals. Here are some tips on how to properly store and freeze your soup:
- Allow the soup to cool down completely before storing. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Divide the soup into individual portions or family-sized portions, depending on your preference. This will make it easier to thaw and reheat only the amount you need.
- Place the portions of soup into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Make sure to leave some room at the top of the container or bag as the soup will expand when frozen.
- Label the containers or bags with the date and contents of the soup. This will help you keep track of how long the soup has been in the freezer.
- Store the soup in the freezer for up to 3 months. Beyond that, the quality may start to deteriorate.
When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen split pea soup, follow these steps:
- Remove the desired portion of soup from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Once thawed, pour the soup into a saucepan and gently heat it on the stove over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
- Once the soup is heated through, it’s ready to be served. You can add any additional seasonings or toppings to enhance the flavor, if desired.
By properly storing and freezing leftover split pea soup, you can enjoy a delicious and hearty meal whenever you want, without the need to cook from scratch every time.
Overall, this split pea soup recipe is a delicious and satisfying option for a filling meal. With its rich flavors, nutrient-packed ingredients, and easy preparation, it is a perfect choice for a cozy lunch or dinner. Whether you are a fan of classic comfort food or looking for a nutritious dish to enjoy, this soup will not disappoint. Give it a try and indulge in a bowl of warmth and goodness.