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Split Pea Soup with Bacon is comfort food at it’s finest, with a crunchy, salty twist. A thick and creamy, split pea base is loaded with veggies, seasonings and lots of bacon for a delicious meal that is perfect with a side of grilled cheese.

A large pot of Split Pea Soup Recipe with Bacon.
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Our Favorite Soup Recipe

It’s soup season, my favorite time of the year! I love it when the weather turns colder and we can truly enjoy delicious homemade soups, like Chicken Minestrone SoupHamburger Soup, or Smoky Vegetable Beef Soup.

Soups are very customizable, and I love just throwing in things I have on hand and calling it a meal. This Split Pea Soup recipe is my new favorite.

It has bacon instead of the traditional ham, and I love the bit of texture that it adds. I like my pea soup very thick, but you can continue adding broth to make it whatever consistency you like.

Love peas? Try my new Pasta and Peas recipe!

Ingredients for Split Pea Soup with Bacon

There are not a bunch of wild and crazy ingredients in this soup, which helps it to rise to the top of the favorites list. I do like my split pea soup nice and thick, so if you prefer a thinner soup you’ll want to use more broth or thin with water. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bacon – Use your favorite; I like the thick-cut kind.
  • Veggies – Onion, celery, carrots, garlic
  • 1 pound bag of split peas Rinse them in a colander under cold water and pick out any rocks or broken beans.
  • Dried spices – Bay leaves and thyme.
  • Vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
  • Salt and pepper
A ladle full of split pea soup with bacon hovering over the pot.

How to Make Split Pea Soup with Bacon

  • Use kitchen shears to bacon into a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook until crispy, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  • Drain some of the grease out of the pan, leaving behind enough to saute the vegetables. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until they’re softened. Add the garlic and spices and saute for a minute before adding the broth.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, skimming off any foam. Continue to simmer for about 1-1 ½ hours, adding more broth as needed..
  • Add half of the bacon to the soup, reserving the rest for garnishing each bowl.
  • Split pea soup is a delicious meal on it’s own, rich with flavor from the veggies and bacon. We do love to top our soup with croutons and serve it with some Air Fryer Grilled Cheese or Cheesy Garlic Bread.

What Are Split Peas?

Split peas are field peas that have been harvested, dried and split in half to be used for cooking. They come in sweet green or a mild yellow varieties.

As with lentils, split peas do not need to be soaked overnight and they only take about an hour to cook. You do want to make sure to rinse and take a good look at the peas, sorting through them to pick out any stones that may have been mixed into the bag.

When cooked, split peas become quite soft and have almost a pureed texture. Split peas also have great nutritional benefits as they are low in fat, packed with fiber and protein, and are a good source of several vitamins and minerals.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigerate: Store in the refrigerator tightly covered for up to three days. Split Pea Soup will thicken as it stands, so you may need to add a bit of broth or water to thin it out.

Freezer: Store tightly covered in the freezer for up to three months for optimal freshness.

Split Pea Soup Recipe with Bacon in a bowl with a gold spoon and sliced bread on the side.

Pro Tips

  • Leave the pot uncovered for a thicker soup and covered for a thinner broth. If the soup is getting too thick, you can add some broth until you are happy with the consistency.
  • For a smooth soup, use and an immersion blender directly in the pot to puree the soup until slightly chunky (almost smooth but with some texture). Do this before adding the bacon, then use it only as a garnish.

More Soup Recipes

Recipe

Split Pea Soup with Bacon

5 from 2 votes
This Split Pea Soup with Bacon has a thick and creamy, split pea base, loaded with veggies, seasonings and tons of crunchy, salty bacon.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 small onion diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 stalk of celery diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound dried green split peas rinsed and picked over
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8-12 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth or water
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Instructions
 

  • Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook in the pot until crisp. Reserve half of the bacon for serving later with the soup and drain all but about 2-3 tablespoons of the grease. 
  • Add onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft and onions translucent. Stir in garlic, bay leaves, thyme and split peas and stir for 1 minute. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then pour in 8 cups of vegetable broth. 
  • Increase heat and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming any foam that rises to the top, until no more foam appears. Simmer uncovered for 1-1 ½ hours, or until peas are soft. Add more broth as needed while the soup simmers. 
  • Turn off heat. Stir soup to mix well from the bottom up. 
  • *OPTIONAL STEP: Using an immersion blender directly in the pot, puree the soup until slightly chunky (almost smooth but with some texture). Alternatively, puree in batches in a food processor or blender. Reheat soup in the pot and continue with the next step. 
  • Ladle into bowls and serve warm, garnished with reserved crumbled bacon and/or homemade croutons.

Notes

The bacon can be optional and the soup will be delicious either with or without it.
Keyword split pea soup

Nutrition

Calories: 602kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 28gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1774mgPotassium: 951mgFiber: 20gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2506IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Margaret says:

    I served this to my walking group. They said it was very yummy! Great recipe.

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Margaret.
      K.

  2. Barbara Christy says:

    Since I made the comment last night, my husband went out to the specialty meat store in San Diego and got their thick bacon for this soup, 9 slices of bacon was a pound so that is definately soup -bacon! He smoked it this time in apple and cherry woods (cold smoked so I still need to cook it. So much for survival cooking this sounds epicurean to me. He bought thos carrots that are white, red, yellow and anything but orange. I am not sure how the color will look in my soup. Luckily I have always kept a supply of split peas on hand. He says the celery in the back yard is ready too.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      That sounds amazing, Barbara!!

  3. Barbara Christy says:

    I like this recipe as written, it is similar to what I make but I use water, not broth and more celery , onion and I add carrots for the pop of color and sweetness. We smoke our (store bought) thick bacon in the backyard smokers usually with apple or alder so we don’t need much for a lot of flavor. I will try the 4 bay leaves instead of the 2 I was taught to do. I am so glad you brought up Pea Soup Andersons, We hit the one in Buelleton, California on our honeymoon and I bet that was the first time my husband had pea soup he liked. I loved that they served a variety of bread with the rather plain soup, but the condiments really made it special.. We have also been to the Pea Soup Andersons in Carlsbad California , before they shut down. Good memories.

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Barbara

  4. Brittany says:

    We were craving the Pea and Bacon soup we had at a pub in Dublin, Ireland and came across you’re recipe. Made this tonight for dinner tonight and it was great!! Only changes I made was that I omitted onion (because I forgot to buy them) and I only used 4 cups of broth and it was still wonderful! We puréed the soup in a blender until completely smooth and served it was a rosemary Parmesan skillet bread – delicious! Will be saving this recipe to make again!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you so much Brittany for taking the time to share your positive experience.