Spicy split pea soup

Total Time
1 hr 13 min
12 min
1 hr 1 min
This hearty soup gets its name from a generous dose of cayenne pepper. But, if you can’t handle the heat, you can omit it altogether to create a mild version of this wonderfully tasty soup. Split peas are field peas that have been hulled and then split along their natural seam, which speeds cooking and eliminates the need for presoaking them. They are high in protein and fiber, making them an ideal addition to this vegetable-forward soup and are very creamy when cooked. They also last a long time, up to a year, if stored properly in an airtight container. Serve this main-dish soup for dinner with a simple side salad and fresh bread.


Vegetable oil

1 Tbsp

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, chopped

Uncooked carrot(s)

1 medium, chopped

Uncooked celery

1 rib(s), medium, chopped


2 medium clove(s), minced

Vegetable broth

8 cup(s), low-sodium

Uncooked potato(es)

2 large, all-purpose variety, peeled and cubed

Dry split peas

2 cup(s), picked over, rinsed, and drained

Table salt

½ tsp

Dried thyme

½ tsp

Cayenne pepper

½ tsp

Bay leaf

1 leaf/leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, potatoes, split peas, salt, thyme, cayenne, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until all the vegetables are very tender and the split peas are soft, 45–50 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Yields 1 3⁄4 cups per serving.