Split Pea Soup

blue cheese toast

We had our second snowfall of the season this week in Paris, which once again, blanketed the entire city with a stunning layer of snow. It illuminated what was previously gray and drab, and brightened things up when everyone’s spirits were beginning to sag. Still, a number of people were miffed about it, wishing that winter was over for good. But for once, I didn’t join the chorus of râleurs and seemed to be the lone voice of dissent (“Pas de fraternité, Daveed!”) and basked in the icy crystals spreading light everywhere, covering up a multitude of sins, and gave me a rejuvenating view of Paris.

paris snow

snowy bicycles

In addition to a blanket of politesse that also enveloped the city – drivers slowed down, people yielded to others hobbling and sliding around on icy sidewalks – snow and winter also means soup to me. I had picked up a package of locally grown split peas which sounded like a good idea when I got them in the fall. And sure enough, they came in handy this week when the temperatures fell and I needed something warm to keep me going.

winter in paris

snowy bike

Split pea soup one of my favorite soups, which I started making way back in my vegetarian days. But now that I eat meat, I like the smoky flavor that bacon gives the soup. But its simplicity is also what makes it an attractive recipe: You basically sauté a bunch of ingredients in one big soup pot, add the split peas, and let it simmer. And within an hour, you’ll be ladling soups into bowls.

split peas

I’ve always been a big fan of this soup, in spite of the lingering question that I’ve been unable to answer: To blend? Or not to blend? Well, that all depends. Some soups benefit from being velvety smooth, but I don’t know if Split Pea is one of them. I like it to have some texture, and to see – and taste – a few little bits of carrots and bacon in the thick liquid, here and there.

Speaking of thick, years ago a friend of mine’s Norwegian grandmother told me that split pea soup should be so thick that you should be able to slice it with a knife. I don’t know about that, but I sometimes like it so thick that a spoon will practically stand up in it. Either way, it’s a wonderfully hearty soup, perfect (and easy) to make, when the weather is cold and frosty and you want to huddle over the stove a bit.

split pea soup

The best accompaniment to this soup du jour is good bread and cheese, preferably a tangy blue cheese or something strong-tasting, which offsets and compliments the richness of the pea soup. You can, of course, make the soup without the bacon and add a touch of smoked salt over the top to give you that warm, smokiness that one craves in the winter, whether there’s snow outside, or not.

split pea soup

Split Pea Soup

Six servings

I actually bought a ham hock to use in this soup, but didn’t use it because serendipity (and practicality) made me switch to smoked bacon. I wasn’t sure if what are called ham hocks in America (and elsewhere) are similar to what are called jarret avant demi-sel in France, and things that are “smoked” – at least in the states – are much more heavily smoked than things in France. But if you’re the type that likes ham hocks, omit the bacon, reduce the salt, and cook one with the soup ingredients, shredding the meat and adding it to the soup, when done.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (100 g) diced bacon
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 potatoes (1-pound, 450g), peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) dried split peas
  • 7 cups (1,75l) water, or more, if necessary

1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon, onion and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are completely wilted. Add the garlic, thyme, salt (you can start with the smaller amount and add more later), some very generous grinds of black pepper, a bay leaf, the cubed potatoes, and the split peas.

2. Pour in the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very low boil. Put a lid on the pot, but leave it askew with room for steam to escape, and cook the soup, stirring every once in a while, until the split peas and potatoes are very soft, about 45 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Pluck out the bay leaf. Puree the soup to whatever consistency you like with a stick blender. (Or you can use a traditional blender, letting the soup cool to room temperature before blending it. Never fill a blender more than half-full with hot liquid, which can be dangerous.) Add additional water to get to the soup to the consistency that you like, and season with additional salt, if desired.

The soup can be served as is, or you can scatter sliced scallions or chives, crumbled bacon, and perhaps some smoked salt, pepper or a bit of hot sauce, on top.

snowy paris

Split Pea Soup Recipes

Split Pea Soup (Simply Recipes)

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks (Gluten-Free Girl)

Spicy Harissa Split Pea Soup (Lunch Box Bunch)

Spanish-Style Split Pea Soup (Kayotic Kitchen)

Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup with Sausage (Soup Chick)

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup (101 Cookbooks)

Indian-Style Split Pea Soup (Lisa’s Kitchen)

101 comments

  • Lovely pictures of Paris and I’m usually not a huge fan of thick soups but this one one looks really amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  • I used to hate split pea soup growing up but now I really love it! :) Haven’t tried potatoes in it – I usually just do onions, garlic, peas and pancetta :)

  • Regarding the soup’s consistency (or, “To blend or not to blend?”):

    In German, you could differentiate between Suppe and Eintopf – soup and, well… dict.leo.org proposes “stew” as a translation for Eintopf, but the literal translation says “single pot”. I think stew points in the right direction: Eintopf is thick, with more bits and only very little liquid. Suppe has more liquid than things swimming in it (those things might be called Einlage, especially if they are added to a broth only at serving). If you were to blend a proper Eintopf, it would probably come out as a very thick paste, and would require liberal addition of liquid before reaching the consistency of a Suppe again.

  • I’m eating nothing but split pea soup at the moment (this is a wild exaggeration!) as my husband accidentally bought a huge, huge pack of them which we’ll never get through! So all my soups have at least 1/4 cup of split peas in them, no matter what they started off as. I love the feel that blended carrots give to a soup, so I tend to blend. My last soup I cooked some rice and added that, but it got thicker and thicker, and by Wednesday, when I finished it, you could definitely slice it with a knife! But it tasted good.

    This is the recipe I have been using, but I think I’ll try yours next! I love ham hock, but am not very sure where to buy one; we have no local butcher and our supermarkets don’t seem to sell them, so lardons it will have to be!

  • I had a giant hambone left over from a shoot that I made into stock to use to make split pea soup and still have some left in the freezer that will be delicious for this. Thanks for the tip about blue cheese with the soup — I never would have thought to do it. Now I’m dreaming of bubbling blue cheese toasts with my soup.

  • It’s too hot here in Austin for this soup (82 degrees today) but I’ll keep it for next winter. However, you had me with the first picture of that gorgeous bread and blue cheese. Holy cow! And, as someone said earlier, stunning pictures of Paris in the snow.

  • As a Canadian I prefer using yellow split peas, common back home but only available in Asian supermarkets in Nantes. The difference in taste is subtle but of national importance!
    I like to give a couple of blitzes with a hand blender but no more.

  • I love this soup..

  • I’ve been meaning to try to make spit pea soup using lamb fat instead of pork. I had the most wonderful split pea soup in a “hole in the wall” establishment in Casablanca, Morocco, way back in 1989. My theory is they used a fatty cut of lamb instead of the traditional pork in their recipe. I have yet to test my theory though.

  • I;ve always loved split pea soup. I like it with the ham in it rather than bacon, as bacon seems to toughen and is too chewy once incorporated into soups and stews. I don’t blend the soup either as I like a little texture in my soups, too.. A lot of the peas disolve enough that it doesn’t seem necessary to break them or the other vegetables down more since all get soft from the cooking anyway. As a child, when most other kids were wrinkling up their noses at split pea soup, I was loving every bite!

  • We make Dutch pea soup all the time – with leftover ham bone – but also add a generous amount of Kielbassa – Polish sausage – it is totally fantastic – especially on a Canadian winter day like today – Minus one degree Celsius and light snow (near Toronto)

  • when my split pea soup get so thick that it can be cut with a knife, I use it as a pasta sauce. Delish. It works well with other left over bean soups, as well. Gorgeous photos.

  • In Holland we use to have small marketstalls where people skate where they sell split pea soup. Always with smoked sausage in it. The smell is mouthwatering promising when you need something warm after skating for an hour or more!
    My favourite is without the potatoe, but instead of that the same amount of diced celeriac. I use to simmer the stems of the leaves with all the other ingredients and add the chopped leaves in the bowl. Oh, I think I’m going to the kitchen, grab the ingredients and make a large pot for the weekend in this awful kill weather!

  • My mouth is watering! And we are having spring/summer weather here in SoCal. But I’m making this for my family anyway this weekend. Looks easy and delicious, my favorite kind of recipe! Thanks.

    Love your pictures too! Paris in the snow is beautiful, but I’ve heard it’s been so cold there for so long. I hope spring is headed your way soon!

  • We are at our ugliest time here as well, that time just before spring when everything’s melted and there’s garbage all along the roadsides-ugh! Luckily, we too are getting a snowfall tonight which I won’t mind at all. And this soup sounds just like what the doctor ordered!

  • Oh yummy, I remember my mom making split pea soup with ham when I was little, but haven’t made it myself. If using the ham hock/bone, do you just add it when you add the water or does it need any special preparation beforehand?

    It’s still cold here in London, and travel chaos ensued after you gay Parisians got your heavy snowfall, luckily it only skirted London.

  • What beautiful photos! And your soup sounds fab. I prefer that Split Pea Soup not be pureed – a result, perhaps of too many hours spent watching “The Exorcist.” It is hearty, soul satisfying fare. Thanks for a wonderful post and recipe.

  • We are on our 45th snowfall of the season. (Every other day like clockwork). This is most welcome. Your snow photos are lovely and I suppose I could stand the snow if in Paris. Maybe. But I definitely can stand the soup! Scouring my cupboards now. Grateful I keep both ham hocks and smoky bacon around for snow emergencies.

  • You definitely needed snow to make split pea soup feel like the perfect meal on such a day. Pics=fabulous! My husband and I once took the ingredients for split pea soup on a fall camping trip. Turned brutally cold (for sleeping outdoors anyway) and we were so grateful we brought soup to make. Don’t blend. Mash part and return to pot! Leftovers, but not enough? Put a bit in a bowl in the oven+poach an egg in that great goodness. (Snow in Saint Paul today, too. No complaints–otherwise very gray and dirty.)

  • Split pea soup usually can be spooned like quenelles the next day, at least the one I make. It´s my favorite soup hands down! And it must have bacon or ham. I put a first batch of peas, and halfway add a second batch. The first one almost disintegrates and the second remain al dente. Paris with snow, I have yet to taste it!

  • I like to use Ina Garten’s recipe which has you use most of the split peas in the beginning and then some more later in the cooking process. Most of the split peas break down but the later addition adds some texture. Really good!

  • being vegan, i get the smoked taste from smoked paprika. i don’t add potatoes but smoked green weat called freeky by palestinians. if u don’t have freeky, i would use barley. enjoy! hag sameach from 35 degrees c. in haifa

  • Making this for apres ski tomorrow! What kind of potato do you recommend to add flavor and a little thickness, but not too much of the latter?

  • I’ve never made pea soup without celery. Or with potatoes and garlic. But once when I was ill, a friend brought me her pea soup – like yours, without celery and with potatoes and garlic – and it was delicious. I don’t think you can go wrong with split pea soup!

  • Just a guess but would ham hocks be “piers de porc fumee” in French? I’ve gotten them at Leclerc from time to time.

  • Thanks, spell-check: that was to be written “pieds de porc fumee”!!

  • May god bless you for this recipe, which will be in the pot this weekend.

  • Paris in the snow — so lovely. It’s also good to know my pea soup isn’t too thick. :)

  • Love pea soup! I use the smoked ham hocks and don’t blend it or mash it. Wonderful on a day like today in St. Paul which is rainy/snowy winter mix. Only thing better is 15 bean soup which we will have for supper today. yum. Love your pictures, I love snow! Wish I could eat that bread, gluten free here, but it looks sooo good.

  • Your photos of snow strewn Paris and plus hot soup are so delectable that they made me fondly remember snow.

  • I call the dirty snow “snirt”. Here in Wisconsin a fresh blanket of white has been arriving every couple of days, not giving the snirt time to form.
    Love the photos and the soup looks wonderful.

  • I love using leeks instead of onions. And as for the bread accompaniment, i have been making Lahey’s excellent no-knead bread. Let it do the slow rise the previous night, and the smell of fresh bread and pea soup makes even the dreariest winter day a celebration.

  • Our family had pea soup this week with Swedish Pancakes. It is our farewell to winter in Texas, since it is starting to getting hot outside!

  • My mother used to make a mean pea soup with ham hock. She lost her recipe but this looks so similar — thank you! Now I’m glad it’s still cold outside. Sort of.

  • Making this tonight. My grandmother used to make this for us – minus the pork/bacon (kosher) style. But since everything is better with bacon, I think I will sneak it in!

  • Yum. We just made this a couple weeks ago, using a locally-smoked ham hock, and it was just the thing. It’s a humble soup, but it never ceases to amaze me by how delicious it is. Thanks for posting.

  • My mother made me her split pea soup when I came back to school after winter break. Its the best way to beat the winter blues. Although I can’t imagine Paris in the snow as anything less than perfectly delightful.

  • To make the soup vegetarian, would you add something instead of the bacon, or just omit it?

  • That looks worth being blanketed in snow for! Love a pea and ham soup!

  • I have been trying to come up with new soups for my family and had never considered split pea soup, but I am definitely going to make it this week. They are all so tired of soup, but seriously, who complains about homemade soup and fresh bread?!? I think they are SPOILED!

  • What a coincidence. I made a pot of split pea soup yesterday, and it taught me a lesson: don’t use peas that you’ve had around for several years — they will never soften!

    I gave up after three hours.

    Here you have to specify “green” or “yellow” peas, as we use both. Otherwise, my recipe is like yours except I add celery and use a mild organic chicken bouillon instead of water, and smoked ham instead of bacon.

  • Looks yummy. Any suggestions for vegetarians about what to swap for the bacon? Of course, I could omit it but I usually find that it’s lacking a bit of “umpf” without the extra taste of flavour.

    • Hi,
      I personally use smoked tea when I want the smoky flavour without the meat.

  • Perfect for those cold winter blasts!

  • Ilana & Patricia: I recommended perhaps trying some smoked salt in the recipe, which adds a nice smoky note. I linked to a few vegetarian (and vegan) versions as well at the end of the post. (A dab of harissa or Thai chili paste works well, too. But when I’ve made it without bacon or ham, I didn’t miss the flavor or meat at all.

    Sandy: Yes, it can get icky when snow starts to melt. I wish it would snow forever!
    : )

    Kathy: I’m not sure where you live, but a potato such as Yukon Gold are very nice & tasty.

  • Paris in snow looks wonderful, as probably every other city does. Everything looks so clean and crisp (melting is another story, but enjoy the moment before that!). Born in Siberia, I love snow and all the feelings that it evokes. Every meal tastes completely different, much tastier, after a stroll in the fresh snow.
    I never add other spices besides bay leaf and some pepper corns in pea soup (salt of course!), it’s time to start experimenting after this post. A toast with cheese is an interesting and unexpected addition.
    Thanks for interesting pictures, David – enjoying them every time. :)

  • Hmm I think split pea soup is also one of these dishes that tastes different in any family. Where I come from (East Germany) it is quite common to spice it ith vinegar and sugar and that’s naturally how I love my soup ;-)

  • David, many thanks for the wonderful pictures of Paris in the snow ! My wife and I are always there in spring or early fall and miss the beauty of such a wonderful city covered in snow.

  • Because I don’t eat pork, I use a smoked turkey leg.
    Freekah would be an interesting addition to any soup. Whole Foods carries it for $6 but it could be less at a Middle Eastern market.

  • I have a pot of split pea soup on the stove as I write. Paris looks lovely in the snow. We look forward to returning this Summer. This year it will be a motorcycle tour from Tours to Provence with stops on either end in Paris.

  • La soupe aux pois, memories of sitting at my grand mamans table eating a bowl of Québec style soupe. I make it frequently and tradionally use a ham bone and Les herbes sales, another quebec tradition. I use a stick blender and give it a few whizzes , to thicken but not to blend smoothly.

  • Just wondering if by bacon you mean lardons since there is a difference between American bacon and what we find here in France. Outstanding photos of snowy Paris, so fresh, so clean. One of the best pea soup recipes I’ve seen. My husband will be ravie.

    • I use lardons here in France – American-style bacon is hard to come by and I like the French stuff. I usually buy smoked.

  • David, what is that colorful, old building in the 4th photo, and where is it?

  • I love a GOOD split pea soup — this sounds as if it will be delicious. We will give it a try.

    If this question is allowed — if you or some of your commenters can answer, or direct me to a good source:

    Some of us in my family have received the gift of a week in Paris from the Make A Wish Foundation. My youngest daughter has had leukemia — she is now 17. Our trip will be very much a teen-ager’s ‘dream trip’. {I have been several times, attended the Université de Dijon a looong time ago} — but haven’t been for 30+ years.

    This daughter is doing well, but can’t walk for long distances. Another daughter has a form of dwarfism and a lot of walking is painful. Another daughter cannot eat gluten. (We sound weird — we really aren’t).

    Is there a good way to see the city, go through the different small neighborhoods where I did so much walking, and make it easy on those who cannot walk so much? What would you recommend?

    We are researching the dining for my daughter who cannot eat wheat/gluten — aside from missing out on les baguettes, it sounds as if we will be fine. Do you have any recommendations for this instance as well?

    Thanks for ANY time any of you can offer!

    • You’ll find several tips in my post, Accessible Travel in Paris, including things to do for folks who have limited mobility. (People left good tips in the comments there, too.) There is also a post on Gluten-Free Eating and Dining in Paris which offers some guidelines as well.

      • On my first visit to Paris I took the Open Tour Buses. Definitely a tourist thing but a way to see the city quickly if you don’t have a lot of time. And you can get off and back on at every stop. They also have ear buds for a commentary of the city. I also took the riverboats along the Seine which take you through the city from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame. Again you can get off and reboard at various points. You’ll have a blast — how exciting to go with you family!

  • Even here in sunny Los Angeles, split pea soup is a staple at our table in winter. I follow a Dutch recipe, which is very close to yours. It calls for 2 ham hocks and sliced smoked sausage, such as Kielbasa. If you like, you can also put bits of ham in. To reduce the fat, I sometimes use turkey kielbasa, but the flavor and texture aren’t as satisfying as the original pork/beef variety. The ham hocks not only give the soup a rich flavor, the gelatin in the bones contributes to thickening the soup, as do the potatoes. I also like to add a stalk or two of celery to make a true mirepoix. A true Dutch pea soup also contains celery root/celeriac, but that’s hard to find in LA. As you say, the soup is incredibly simple to make, but the result is fantastic and filling.

  • Mmmm, its the beginning of autumn here in NZ and my thoughts are turning to winter food just reading about this soup. I like it made with half dried peas and half fresh (well… frozen) peas added near the end , makes it sweeter and greener and modifies the starchiness a little.

  • Not being a ham eater, I often substitute barbecue sauce for the meat in my split pea soups to get that smoky flavor.

    • Thanks for the tip, Lydia. I never thought of using bbq sauce to get some smokiness. There is Liquid Smoke, which is apparently all-natural smoke flavoring, and I was going to buy a bottle once in the US to see what it was like – just for fun. Then I imagined what would happen if it broke in my luggage, so changed my mind ; )

  • I followed this recipe, and it is the best split pea soup I’ve ever tasted. Simple, fast, and sumptious. Thank you.

  • Since I found out we can buy smoked bacon bones from the butcher, that’s all I use to make pea soup. I’m definitely trying this as Autumn is on its way down under.

  • My mom’s recipe pretty much, except add celery and use ham (or better yet a ham bone) instead of the bacon. Her trick was to use a bit of cream mixed with flour at the end, not to thicken but to stabilize the soup so it wouldn’t settle into solids with water on top as it cooled.

    My trick — and one I use for any legume — is to cook with the lid on the pot for a while. This causes the beans to break down much faster so that they pretty much puree themselves — no need for a blender ( and I like the little chunks of potato and carrot anyhow). Sometimes I’ll stir some fresh (usually frozen) peas in near the end of cooking for a slight contrast.

  • Delicious – but – I don’t understand why you would want to peel the potatoes?!

  • Beautiful post. David’s treatment of a French classic. J’adore.

  • I didn’t know you were vegetarian at one time! Must be why I like you so much (despite turning to the other side).

  • This recipe sounds very tasty and perfect for our crazy English weather – a mixture of snow, rain and sunshine. It’s light enough for the sunshine but will be warm and comforting when there’s snow outside the next minute.

  • Looks fabulous!!! Soups are such great comfort food.

  • A while ago a friend gave me a bottle of pumpkin seed oil. I wasn’t sure what to do with it but one day I drizzled some over some pea soup I had just made and ladled into a bowl. It ended up being an amazing combination. The nuttiness of the oil went perfectly with the richness and grassiness of the pea soup.

  • I always use some barley, as my forbears did. Not potatoes.
    Thick is good – a little water solves the problem of too thick. Pea soup
    thickens on standing and refrigeration. I do love it, but simply cannot eat
    the whole potful at once.

    Did I see a crack in the bowl in the photo, or do I have a dirty screen?

  • This soup looks delicious. Perfect for our cold winter. Today was -4! Yesterday I made your lemon tart. It is fantastic. The custard is so yummy! I posted a recipe with drawings and photos on my blog. Feel free if you would like to see.

  • Split pea soup is my absolute favorite , too! It’s snowing here in NY: a perfect day for some piping hot soup!

  • Made this today in honor of the wet, snow-ish stuff falling from the sky here in NYC. Adapted it a bit to make it in the pressure cooker. Did you really mean 1 TBS salt? I went for 1 1/2 tsps in the end, which, w/the bacon, was plenty. Opted to blend – delicious and nice to know I will have in the freezer for these final weeks of winter.

  • I am able to get locally smoked pork chops which are divine in split pea soup, as well as having a bone. The last time I made this I used a blend of split peas and whole dried peas. It was quite good. I don’t like to blend, but will eat it if made by someone else who does blend.

  • Kelley: I was for a long time, but I finally gave in to a craving for a corned beef sandwich (!) Vegetarian food is/can be great and it’s unfortunate some people think of it as bland or uninteresting (especially some restaurants) but nice to see some chefs really embracing it – vegetables and starches and so forth can be so interesting if prepared correctly.

    gillian: I did use that quantity of salt. The potatoes soak up a lot of it and we didn’t find it too much at all. In fact, we sprinkled a little more over our soups – but glad you found the right amount for your taste. (But thinking about it, perhaps some bacon is saltier than what I used so I modified the recipe instructions, so folks can start with a smaller amount and add more, if desired.)

  • I used to be terrified of the days when we had split pea soup as a kid. Not because of the soup itself, but because my mum would serve it with pig trotters and I thought that was a bit too much seeing the trotters lying spread out on the kitchen table…..

  • This soup looks delicious, but I need that cheese.

  • This soup looks perfect for this snowy, cold March day. Paris looks beautiful with a blanket of white powder. One day I will live in Paris but for now I live my “vie de Parisien” from your blog all the way over here in Canada. Joyeuse Saint Patrick!

  • Instead of a ham hock, I use a ham shank. Less fat and more tasty meat!

  • This is nothing comparing to what snowfall we had in Northern Italy, mountains! As a matter of fact, it is still snowing and it makes me a bit worried… Middle of March, who would think. And poor me, silently dreaming of the picnic on the grass for the next weekend! Must admit, it is a bit depressing, these last ‘kicks’ of the winter this year in the whole Europe (?). The winterish soup looks like a good idea for such a weather, reminds me of a childhood :)

  • Do you think that in our “old age” (or sooner) home computers, and laptops might provide “aromas” of said images, at the touch of a button?

    And by the way, the accompanying slices of cheese. Ooh La La.

  • I doubled the recipe and made a huge pot of this soup early evening yesterday and then the snow came in and blanketed nyc!. We went out into the snow and it was quite beautiful. Today it is all gone and I regret not taking a few photos to remember the (probably) last snow of 2012/13 winter. Thanks for the recipe. .

  • Thank you David for this recipe and the beautiful photos. I like to use red split peas. Can they be used for this recipe. I find them to be lighter.

  • SO MANY COMMENTS! Such a popular topic.
    Well, I just finished making this beautiful soup. I did blend it and did 3 batches in the blender: smooth puree, a little chunkier and then even more chunkier. AND, I saved some of the soup that was not blended.

    I must say I did not like the idea of blending the bacon into the soup (I almost went out to buy a ham hock but had so much bacon…. couldnt justify the purchase) but wow is that a nice taste.

    I used a combination of chicken and beef stock and water. Cant wait to eat it for dinner. My family, who swears they hate split pea soup, might change their mind. But, if not… MORE FOR ME

    David, Your recipes are really outstanding and I am always excited to try them. I just wish I had some of that cheese and bread……

  • David, I second your friend’s Norwegian granny’s opinion – or at least my split pea soups (well, that’s to say a typical Estonian split pea soup) are “sliceable” on the following day. Not on the day of cooking, however – they simply thicken so much when cooling. Next day you simply add some water and season again.
    I love using yellow split peas – here’s my recipe: http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/2012/02/estonian-recipes-yellow-split-pea-soup.html

    • Hi Pille: I haven’t seen yellow split peas in Paris although they likely have some at the Indian markets perhaps? But don’t think there are any Estonian markets in Paris quite yet – at least none that I’ve seen ; )

  • We missed the snowfall while away in Amsterdam for a few days and love seeing your pics of Paris blanketed. That soup is going on my list of recipes to try soon….very soon!

  • David,
    I’m commenting again to say I made the soup last night, and it’s the BEST pea soup I’ve had! Thank you! I made it with all your ingredients, except along with the water, I used a chicken base to make a stock. I got the idea from Pascale above. (We have a product here in U.S. called “Better Than Bouillon,” that I sometimes use in lieu of making an authentic stock.) It really gave it a rich taste.

    I almost doubled this recipe, thinking it would make two dinners for my family of four (including 2 young-adult kids, who weren’t sure they wanted it). When dinner was over, there was only enough left for two bowls. Two of us will have to fight the others over it.

    Briefly using the immersion blender gave it a great texture, partially smooth but still with some texture. So much easier than blending in batches in a blender, which I’ve done before. My only mistake (but don’t tell my family) was forgetting to remove the bay leaf before blending. Oops! Well, when we were done, I found part of it at the bottom of the pot. I guess the rest of it got blended. Thanks again!

  • I’ll try this version as I try all your versions. The only one I make is Jacques Pepin’s Split Pea with Ham and Crouton out of his book The Apprentice. I made the Racines cake last night, amazing. Thank you. You describe cocoa nibs as being roasted, but my were purchased and labeled “raw”. I figured they would roast on top of the cake. They did, but do you think there’s a difference in the two when they are both baked? Thanks. Make more videos please.

  • David,
    If you want the smokey flavor without meat, try Penzey’s Pork Chop Seasoning. It has the smoke flavor, along with some other spices. It’s great with vegetables.

  • Love split pea soup – like the idea of smoked bacon – looking forward to trying this recipe. Enjoy reading your blog – thanks!

  • I made this soup yesterday. Delicious. I left it chunky. I was reluctant to blend the bacon, though I read that someone else did with good results. The bacon adds a lot of texture and flavor. I don’t use bacon very often, but I had some in the refrigerator to use up. Love your blog, D.

  • Thanks for the recipe — simple and delicious!! It tastes like my childhood. We used to eat this once a week when I was growing up!

  • I’m a little behind with this (We are vacationing in Morro Bay for a couple of months and a lot of web sites don’t get visited as often as usual!), but I needed to add this bit. The recipe I have made for more years than I care to admit came from Time/Life’s Cooking of Provence. It is basically yours without the potatoes, but at the end of cooking you add fresh peas and some kind of greens to cook fairly briefly before pureing. It gives a lovely color and adds freshness to the flavor that I have always loved. Even my kids loved it as children–no small feat!

  • I forgot to add that my favorite substitute for smoked meat is smoked paprika. We,re not vegetarians, just aging and trying to avoid animal fats when possible without giving up too much

  • I tried this recently and loved it. Even without the bacon.

    If I were going to triple this recipe, do you recommend I use 3 bay leaves? I use the Turkish bay leaf, which I understand has more flavor than a California bay leaf.

    Thanks!

  • David – interestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen green split peas over here. The green ones seem to be whole, and yellow ones split. Go figure :)

  • I live in Australia, S.A, we have just gone through our hottest summer since, I honestly don’t know, it got up to over 50 degrees Celsius in some areas! Hot, Hot, Hot!!! But this sounds delicious and yum, yum, yum! Want now!