Creamy split pea and petite pea soup

Photo of split pea soup

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Even if you're not going to make anything specifically Irish, a green soup still seems appropriate, no? This is based on a recipe originally found in the December 2006 issue of Bon Appetit, which spikes an ordinary split pea soup with green peas to boost its color and dill to brighten its flavor. The result was delicious, but its consistency was a lot thinner than what I had expected from a split pea soup. So I set to work, and after some tinkering, this is my take on it.


Makes 4 servings. Modified from Bon Appetit, December 2006.


I tested this recipe with both the basic and preferred/optional ingredients. The basic ingredients will work, but the preferred ones will give you much more flavor.

Quantity Alternate Measures Item
140 g 5 oz (1 cup) Frozen petite peas (also sold as baby sweet peas)
200 g 7 oz (1 cup) Green split peas
115 g 4 oz (about 1½ cup) Leeks (from one large or two small leeks, white and light green parts only)
1 ea. 1 ea. Bay leaf
30 g 1 oz (5 tbsp chopped) Fresh dill leaves (from about 8–10 stalks), or
1 package baby dill
30 ml 2 tbsp Vegetable oil, or extra virgin olive oil (preferred)
950 g 2 lb 1½ oz (4 cups) Water, or vegetable stock (preferred)
8 g 1 piece, about 4"–6" long Dried kombu (optional)
5 ml 1 tsp Table salt (if using water; use less with stock)


  • Weighing scale and/or measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Various bowls for mise en place
  • Knife and cutting board
  • 4-quart cookpot
  • Spatula, for sauteeing
  • Blender, or immersion blender
  • Ladle


  1. Measure out the frozen peas and set aside to thaw.
  2. Pick over the dried split peas and check for pebbles or other debris, then rinse and drain the peas.
  3. Cut off the dark green parts of the leek and wash thoroughly to remove any dirt. Once the leek is clean, slice it crosswise into ¼" rings.
  4. Separate the midrib of the bay leaf by either folding it lengthwise or running the tip of a knife along both of its sides. Discard the midrib.
  5. Pull the dill leaves off the stems and chop the leaves. Save a few fronds for garnish.
  6. Heat oil in the cookpot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then dd the leeks and bay leaf to the pot and saute until the leeks wilt, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the split peas and stir to coat, then add the water/stock and kombu.
  8. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to between low and medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
  9. Turn off the heat. Add the thawed petite peas and chopped dill to the pot.
  10. Puree the soup until smooth. An immersion blender is most convenient, but if you don't have one, carefully fill the pitcher of a blender only halfway full (or less), then blend in batches.
  11. Add salt to taste.
  12. Ladle the pureed soup into bowls and garnish with dill fronds.


  • Depending on the supermarket, fresh dill may be located either with the produce or with the herbs. Baby dill is usually sold as a packaged herb.
  • I did not test this out, but you should be able to use mature green peas if you can't find petite peas.
  • The bay leaf and kombu stay in the soup and get pureed.


  1. This looks amazing! My attempts at pea soup have never looked this good...must try this recipe :)

  2. Mmm. I love pea soup. My recipe is also a combination of split peas and frozen sweet peas. Yours looks delicious.

  3. Very pretty for St. Patrick's Day! I made a non-Irish dish, Pot O' Gold Soup: http://tamiskitchentabletalk.blogspot.com/2009/03/pot-o-gold-soup-lucky-lemon-lime-drops.html

  4. Made this tonight (without the kombu because I didn't have any) and it was delicious! I always preferred a meatless split pea soup and this hit the spot!

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