Spatulatta: Cooking 4 Kids Online

Find us on: 

Split Pea Soup Print E-mail

We used smoked pork hocks for this version but we usually make this soup when we've had ham on the bone. We've also made it with smoked turkey wings. The smoked flavor is what's important.

A vegetarian version of this can be made with vegetable stock, smoked tofu, or smoked setan.

{Makes 12-14 servings}

You'll need:

  • 1 pound of smoked meat
  • 2 stalks of celery - chopped
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 2 medium-sized carrots or 1 large carrot – cut in slices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic - chopped
  • 10 black peppercorns or 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • A bag of split peas
  • A little adult help


  • A cutting board
  • A large pot or a crock pot
  • A colander or sieve
  • A pair of tongs
  • A slotted spoon
  • A timer
  1. Put the smoked meat in the large pot and cover with water. Add the celery, onions, carrots, potatoes, pepper, garlic and bay leaves. Don't add any salt. Smoked meat is cured with salt and that will be plenty.
  2. Bring the water to a boil then turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for 2 -3 hours or until the meat falls off the bone.
  3. Ask mom or whoever is helping you to please take the bone out of the pot. Use the tongs to fish out any blobs of fat you might find. Now you have a good, rich broth. Broth like this can be the start of a number of recipes, not just pea soup.
  4. If you let the broth cool at this point, you will be able to skim the excess fat out of the soup. The best way to get the most fat out is to let the both stand in the refrigerator overnight. Fat is lighter than water and will rise to the top and solidify, so you will be able to lift it off the surface of the soup by sliding the edge of a big spoon underneath.
  5. While the soup is reheating, empty the bag of split peas into the colander and rinse them under running water. As you are turning them over with your hands, check to make sure there are no tiny stones. It’s rare to find one, but check just in case, because the machine that sorts the split peas can’t always catch them.
  6. Add the split peas to the broth. You will cook these for about 1 hour until the soup gets thick. The first part of the hour the soup will take care of itself, but as the peas cook they will begin to crumble and the soup will get thicker, so you will have to stir it more and more often to make sure it doesn’t burn. This is where the timer comes in.
  7. Set the timer for 20 minutes and take it with you so you know when to come back to stir the soup. When you reset the timer set it for 5 minutes less each time. At the end of the hour you should be stirring the soup about every 5 minutes so don’t get involved in a game of Nintendo.
  8. As the stock starts to get thick, spoon out a little, let it cool, then taste it. If the soup is too salty you can add a raw potato cut in quarters. The potato will soak up the salt. You can leave the potato in the soup or fish it out with a slotted spoon.
  9. The soup will be finished when it is thick and creamy. If you are using tofu or setan for your protein, add it last and stir the soup until the tofu or setan is heated through.

You can serve the soup in a tureen or in individual bowls. Some cultures say that if you find the bay leaf in the bottom of your bowl you should expect a letter. Maybe we should update that to a text message.