Hearty and Thick Chicken Split Pea Soup

When I was a child, I knew that whenever we had ham for a holiday or special occasion, we would enjoy split pea soup the next day.

Hearty and Thick Chicken Split Pea Soup | Foodal.com

After carving the meat, my grandma would save the ham bone, reserving some meat for the soup. Since I figured out that I am not able to eat ham, I forgot about this tradition once I moved out on my own.

Once, I did find a whole nitrate-free ham at the supermarket that I was able to eat. Hopefully, I will find it again for the next Easter season.

Hearty Chicken Split Pea Soup Recipe | Foodal.com

This recipe for pea soup uses chicken instead of ham as its base. It offers a different taste than grandma’s pea soup, but it is still delicious. If you are a vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and substitute vegetable broth instead.

On the other hand, if you want other chicken soup options, try this Italian chicken gnocchi soup recipe and our homemade cream of chicken.

For a presentation that will impress your guests, try serving this soup in individual bread bowls.

Thick and Hearty Chicken Split Pea Soup Recipe | Foodal.com
Hearty and Thick Chicken Split Pea Soup
Votes: 16
Rating: 3.81
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Thick and Hearty Chicken Split Pea Soup Recipe | Foodal.com
Hearty and Thick Chicken Split Pea Soup
Votes: 16
Rating: 3.81
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  • 1 pound dry green split peas rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 pound cooked chicken breast diced
  • 2 cups carrots chopped
  • 2 cups celery chopped
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 bell peppers* (red, yellow, or green), diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Cook onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and peppers until onions glass and vegetables soften.
  3. Stir in split peas and broth.
  4. Add basil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring frequently.
  7. Puree with a blender or food processor.
  8. Return soup to the pot.
  9. Heat and serve.
Recipe Notes

Thick and Hearty Chicken Split Pea Soup Recipe | Foodal.com


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About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

21 thoughts on “Hearty and Thick Chicken Split Pea Soup”

  1. I’ve always wanted to try split pea soup, but as most of the recipes I find require ham, this obviously hasn’t happened yet. I really appreciate finding a recipe with alternate ingredients, and with a vegetarian option to boot! It looks absolutely tasty.

    • I was thinking the same thing; the ingredients make this recipe very versatile so that you can easily replace it with something else if need be. Having a vegetarian option for anything automatically makes it more likely to be tried out, I’ve noticed. Even by people that aren’t vegetarian in the first place; people like dishes with lots of options.

      I’m not a split pea fan, but the rest of my family sure are, and they would love this. There are so many good foods in here, but at the same time it is easy to swap something out if you don’t like/want a specific thing, or just remove it altogether. The soup looks very creamy, too. I imagine it would be great with some crackers to dip in it!

  2. This takes me back!
    Grandma used to make this all the time.
    I’m going to bookmark this, I really like this version and want to make it once the weather gets chilly.

  3. Wow! This really does take me back. My Grandma used to make the best split pea soup growing up. It’s always nice to find a recipe like this that can easily be made vegetarian. This is another one to bookmark for a cool Fall or Winter day. Yum!

  4. I’ve never been a fan of spilt peas (or any peas come to that) but I do make a similar soup using lentils alongside the chicken. The addition of the chicken really enhances what I consider to be a frugal dish and is also a great way of using up leftovers. Freezes well too.

  5. You can’t eat ham? That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t know what I would do if I was told that I couldn’t tolerate ham. I eat it everyday. Back to the topic at hand- this soup looks delicious. Perfect for a cold winter’s evening.

  6. I love the rich flavor and heartiness of split pea soup. I’ve had it with and without ham, but have never tried making it with chicken, so this sounds nice a nice variation, especially for those who want something different, or can’t have pork or ham. I imagine this would be wonderful with a thick slab of French or Italian bread and butter.

  7. Ahhh, this looks yummy. Probably very filling, a couple bowls later. Soup is always something that you can have a few big bowls of it. It’s great in the winter time to warm you up, but I still eat it in the summer. I just let it cool down a little more. The turkey, wait it’s chicken, you could slice it up and make it chunky. It looks so much like turkey. Either one or both. Let it sit in the mixture for awhile to marinate. I would be more inclined to make it vegetarian by adding more of the peas.

  8. Split pea soup has always been my go-to recipe when I’m sick and in need of something to break the continuity of chicken noodle. However, I’ve never actually tried it with any meat beyond the traditional ham and, occasionally, bacon. I need to experiment with some of these ingredients; it definitely looks like a decently healthy meal to boost the immune system. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. I am a huge fan of chicken soups! I really can’t wait to try this, considering I’ve never had a split pea example. It seems to rich and tasty. I also love the color of the broth and it really seems to make the chicken and peas the star of the show!

  10. I love homemade soups. This chicken split pea soup is on the top of my ” must try this” recipe. Nothing like a hot hearty meal to enjoy.

  11. My mother used to always prepare this dish for me when I was a little kid and I remember I liked it a lot! Chicken split pea is really delicious and it’s the only soup I eat! It’s too bad that I don’t have time to cook anymore. 🙁

  12. Oh wow, that looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try split pea soup, but my brother hates it so I never bothered to make it. But now that he’s out of the house I might be tempted to have a go at it! I really like the idea of chicken in it as well, since I see a lot with ham and I’m not really a pork fan. Also, I can’t believe I never thought to put basil in peas, that just sounds yummy like in a casserole or something. Eh, I guess that’s why my mom always cooks more than me.

    • It’s perfect for those long winter nights, especially when you cook it with sausage / gizzard, i’d suggest slow cooking the gizzard so it’s soft and chewy. Truly a nice dish when you don’t want something too heavy on the stomach yet you can eat in large quantities, it also serves as a nice midnight snack!

  13. I’ve never had split pea soup in my life. My family however live for this soup. I don’t really like ham, so to find a recipe that leaves room for substitutes is awesome! Well I’ll see how it turns out. I’m looking forward to making this dish.

  14. Hi Jennifer, this recipe looks delicious, I do just have to share with you a split pea (or any dried soup mix) hint. Freeze the bag of split peas (beans/lentils) in the freezer for 24 hours after bringing it home from the grocery store.
    Why you may ask?…. one word: Weevils!
    These little beetle eggs/larvae are most commonly found in rice, grains, and soup mixes!
    But a night in the freezer kills all lurking bugs and when you wash your grains/legumes they are washed away.
    Enjoy your soups!

  15. It is amazing that some recipes and/or foods can trigger a memory. For me it had the memory of winter nights as a family sitting around the fire place, drinking soup out of big mugs. Sometimes my mom will spice it up and serve the soup with a fresh loaf of home made bread.
    This recipe sounds amazing. I haven’t tried a split pea soup with chicken. It will definitely be on my menu this winter.

  16. I love this recipe. It is so simple to make. I have had it many times before. My mom would cook it for us during the winter months. I will definitely try to make it myself soon and see if my family likes it as much as I do. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Well anytime that I hear the words hearty and thick to describe a soup you can usually count me in, and this one sounds like another winner. I have to admit that I was a little turned off to pea soup for a little bit, but then sure enough after getting over the initial hesitation with the name, it is delicious and I enjoy it from time to time. I have never had it with chicken though, so that is a nice change of pace. Thanks for sharing.

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