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Split Pea and Ham Soup I
January 02, 2008

Split pea soup is a staple in our home (at least once in any 2 week cycle, especially during the winter) and this is a good "core" recipe for it. I generally use dried beans (usually 1 lb.), chicken bullion cubes (6-8) and just about any kind of pork, bacon, sausage or frankfurter (which I sautee in butter and with onions first) I have on hand. I usually cook the soup in my crock pot -- to which I add either (fresh or dried) parsley, oregano, basil, coriander; you know, whatever I like/whatever I feel like -- on "low", so that it REALLY slow cooks, adding carrots during the last hour (when I raise the temperature to "high"). I rarely include potatoes, but if/when I do, they are "pre-cooked" and added along with the carrots. Prior to serving, I emulsify at least PART of my "batch" (perhaps 1/3rd) in my blender and return it to "the pot". I serve it with a "side salad and either a loaf of "really heavy" and "crusted" bread (an Italian loaf or a French "bagette" is good, but my family favors either Sour Dough or Pumpernickel) on the side, or refrigerated biscuits or homemade dumplings "on top". Cheese helps as a "garnish" here. While my personal preference is Parmesan, some of my family members prefer American while others prefer Swiss. I also put out a container of Sour Cream for anyone (such as myself) who wants to "dollop" it. A meal onto itself! And HEALTHY! NOTE to "newbies" (or to others who have never experienced the WONDER of Split Pea Soup): it is THICK. Especially "t

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