Made with just a few ingredients — green split peas, onions, carrots, and celery and a few herbs and spices — this healthy, hearty and comforting split pea soup is so easy to make that we are sure it will become a staple recipe.
Note: While this recipe does not require soaking the peas overnight it does reduce the cooking time considerably so we like to soak them.
The great thing about this soup is just how simple it is to make and how few ingredients are needed. With that said, feel free to experiment and add the thyme, cayenne and/or some liquid to smoke to see how you prefer it. We typically add these ingredients for a bit of added depth and flavoring.
To make the soup, place a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onions, and a good pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or so or until fragrant.
Next, add the peas, 10 cups of stock, bay leaves, as well as the fresh thyme, cayenne and liquid smoke (if using) as well as the salt and pepper. Bring the soup just to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for approximately 2 hours, or until the peas start to break down. Stir occasionally and add more stock as needed to ensure the peas are fully covered. The amount of liquid needed will ultimately depend on the peas, the actual amount of ingredients used, and how thick you like your soup. Note that the soup will thicken considerably once cooled.
Once the peas are almost fully cooked, add the celery and continue to cook until the peas and celery have fully softened. At this point, add the carrots and let cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until the carrots have just cooked through.
Lastly, taste for seasoning. If desired, the soup can be partially, or fully puréed. We like to take a few scoops of the soup and purée it in a high-speed blender and then add it back to the soup. This just gives the soup a bit more binding power, which helps to prevent it from splitting as it cools. Either way, the soup is delicious.