Yellow split pea soup is such a cozy comfort on a chilly day, and a wonderfully nourishing meal to warm the belly with. Simmered together with smoky ham, a sprinkle of marjoram, plus finely diced veggies, my yellow split pea soup recipe is extra scrumptious with the addition of homemade crispy-fried onions as a savory and delectable topper!
Split Pea Soup with a Golden Hue
Thick, hearty soups during the chilly months feel like warm, cozy blankets wrapped around my soul, or a soothing arm around my shoulders.
Ladling up a nice, big bowlful of my yellow split pea soup and watching the steam rise from it while carefully sipping hot spoonfuls is so comforting at the end of a long day, that it's easy to get lost in a moment of pleasure and gratitude.
Split pea soup is one of those classic soups that offer such satisfaction, and when I'm longing to enjoy it with a little twist, I like to substitute yellow split peas to create a pea soup of a different color, one that has a gentle and warming golden hue instead of the more traditional green.
Adding in some smoky Black Forest ham, some aromatic vegetables by way of finely diced carrots, celery and onions, plus plus some mildly-pungent garlic and a fragrant sprinkle of dried marjoram offers this yellow split pea soup a wonderfully earthy and complex flavor.
Topping a bowl of this golden elixir off with some homemade crispy-fried onions in place of croutons for added sweet-savoriness and a bit of crunch, truly makes this a soup extra special and filled with the flavor of TLC.
My Yellow Split Pea Soup Recipe with Crispy-Fried Onions
Little is more appealing when my hungry belly rumbles than a soup that's not only hearty and satisfying, but also easy and quick to simmer up.
When I'm preparing this soup for just my hubby and I, we typically can enjoy it for a couple of days, dipping warm, rustic bread into our bowlfuls.
If you're feeding a couple more people, this recipe can easily be doubled, yielding some leftovers to enjoy for a few extra days as well.
And those crispy-fried onions? They're completely optional, of course. But let me tell you, they're so simple to fry up, adding so much to the overall experience of this soup, offering something a little bit unique in place of traditional classic croutons.
Here's a glance at my yellow split pea soup recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I gently crisp my diced ham in my soup pot just until golden, then add in my finely diced veggies and saute just until softened.
- Next, I add in my garlic and my seasoning, and once those become aromatic, I add in my rinsed and picked-over yellow split peas and my chicken stock (or broth), and allow the soup to gently simmer for about an hour, or until the peas are tender.
- While the soup simmers, I prepare my crispy-fried onions by tossing them into seasoned flour to coat, and frying for a few moments just until golden and crispy. I drain the fried onions on paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.
- To finish the yellow split pea soup, I turn off the heat and allow the soup to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before finishing with a teeny squeeze of lemon for balance, as well as parsley.
- To serve, I ladle it nice and hot into bowls and top with the crispy-fried onions.
Yellow Split Pea Soup
by Ingrid Beer
This hearty and cozy yellow split pea soup is flavored with an aromatic sprinkle of marjoram, and topped with savory crispy-fried onions!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 427 calories (per serving with 2 tablespoons of crispy-fried onions)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yellow Split Pea Soup Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces (about ½ pound) smoked, Black Forest ham, diced small
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried Marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 ¼ cup yellow split peas (dried), picked over and rinsed in cold water
- 5 ½ cups chicken stock/broth
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Crispy-Fried Onions Ingredients:
- Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying (about 2 cups worth)
- ½ onion, cut in half once more and sliced very thinly
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus a couple of pinches, divided use
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your soup ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the soup, place a large, non-stick soup pot over medium-high heat, and add the butter and the olive oil. Once melted together, add in the diced ham, stir, and allow to crisp up a bit for a few minutes.
- Once the ham is browned and crispy, add in the diced onion, carrot, and celery, and allow the mixture to sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables soften a bit. Add in the marjoram, black pepper and a pinch of salt, plus the chopped garlic, and stir until aromatic.
- Next, add in the yellow split peas, and stir to incorporate them into the ham/vegetable mixture. Stir in the chicken stock, and allow it to come to the boil.
- Once things come to the boil, adjust the heat to low/medium-low, cover the pot with a lid slightly askew, and gently simmer the soup for about an hour, until the split peas begin to break down and thicken up the soup.
- While the soup simmers, gather and prep all of your crispy-fried onion ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized.
- To prepare the crispy-fried onions, slowly heat the oil to roughly 360° in a medium-sized pot.
- Into a small dish add the flour, black pepper, salt, and paprika, and mix together with a fork. Set aside for a moment.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Next, sprinkle the sliced onions with the flour mixture, and toss the slices well to coat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the coated onions (in batches) to the hot oil, and fry them for a few moments until golden-brown and crispy. Remove the crispy onions from the oil and place onto a paper towel to drain, sprinkling them with a pinch of salt to season while still warm. Repeat the process until all onions are fried.
- Once fried, finish them by sprinkling over them the chopped parsley and tossing it with the onions, and set these aside to use as garnish for the soup.
- Once the soup has simmered for about an hour and all peas are pretty well broken down, turn the heat off from under the pot and allow for the soup to sit for about 15-20 minutes. Then, stir in the lemon juice and the fresh parsley, ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the crispy-fried onions.
Tips & Tidbits for my Yellow Split Pea Soup recipe:
- Dried yellow or golden split peas: Depending on the packaging, you'll be able to find these split peas referred to as “yellow” or “golden”. Split peas do not require soaking, just make sure to rinse them using a sieve under cold water, and pick through them to check for any small debris or teeny stones that can be missed during their processing.
- Dried marjoram for flavor: Dried marjoram is an herb that I like to add to all of my split pea soups, as it's something my mom would add to her recipe. It gives the split pea soup a delicious mildly-earthy flavor. If you cannot find it, you can substitute Italian seasoning (a dried mix of Italian herbs), or even Herbes de Provence, or perhaps some thyme.
- Homemade crispy-fried onions, or store-bought: Preparing this tasty little topping from scratch is such a breeze, and takes mere minutes. But if you prefer to streamline things, you can certainly use store-bought crispy onions, if they're in season and available in markets. Otherwise, you can substitute croutons.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!