Split Pea Soup with Bacon

by Erin

While it presents as a most unappetizing color and texture, split pea soup with bacon is quite hearty and delicious. Serve it with bread as you’ll want to scoop up every last drop.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon.

Jump to recipe

Before I dive into the St. Patrick’s Day themed Holiday Recipe Club post today, I suppose I should tell you how my mom’s surgery went after the dramatic story I told yesterday. Agreed? I feel like I am dangling something tantalizing in front of you.

The pre-op business took all of the morning and then the balloon test to make sure they could proceed with the real surgery took a little while longer. Surgery didn’t truly begin until mid-afternoon. Originally the plan was to cut off the carotid artery as she had enough blood flow without it due to a precious surgery, but the process was causing her to become sick (vagal response) despite all of their efforts.

Being a life-threatening situation, they went ahead and tried something else which only had a 1% chance of being completed…

Split Pea Soup with Bacon in a bowl.

They got it to work! The doctor was ecstatic (myself and family included) and said the carotid artery was saved via stent and the aneurysm itself was now filled 95% with coils. He may have to go back in to fill the remaining 5%, but we shall see how things go. Of course I didn’t have a clue how these coils worked so after my aunt explaining to me what she was told by a nurse, and a little research on the web, it is a platinum coil that causes a clotting reaction to occur within the aneurysm itself and will hopefully eliminate it! I even found a little video if you care to watch on YouTube.

I didn’t get to speak with my mom but she is feeling well despite the nausea from the anesthetic. She will be held in the ICU overnight and will likely be in the hospital for another 2-3 days. I am very much relieved for it to be over. (Update: if the MRI results today look good she’s going home tomorrow!)

As for the bouquet of cake balls, being that the hospital is 2 hours from their home they have not made their presence known yet. Wish I had gotten them in the mail sooner so that they could have arrived on Tuesday instead. I wasn’t thinking it through and just wanted them to be there when she was done with surgery so I went for Wednesday. Hopefully their neighbor was able to scoop up the package so that it won’t be sitting outside the entire time they are gone.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon, served with Guinness Bread.

But now I must redirect you into thinking about the upcoming holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. For today’s post we had to choose between pistachios, potatoes, and beer. My mind immediately went to soup. And a green one such as split pea soup, because evidently it is an acceptable Irish food item with which to celebrate the holiday. Learning stuff is cool!

This was my first time ever making split-pea soup. In fact the last time I witnessed it being homemade by anyone was decades ago by my grandmother. I don’t recall how she makes it (and I doubt she does either because she’s from the generation that doesn’t need recipes), but I kind of like my split pea soup a bit thicker. If you like a thinner split-pea, then simply stop cooking it when it reaches your preferred consistency.

I originally made this using a recipe with potatoes but later decided it made it too starchy and omitted them. In it’s place, I added bacon! Despite the off-putting color, the little chunks of bacon and carrot really won me over. This split pea soup with bacon was especially good served with asiago biscuit twists or Guinness bread.

Post updated 4/18/2023, photo above is the original.

One year ago: Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

Split Pea Soup with Bacon.


Yield: 10-12 Servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1 lb. 1/4-inch cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. dried split peas
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2-3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1-12 oz. bottle of ale (optional)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme leaves


  1. Place a large stock pot or French oven over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden and crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, and return pan with grease over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the bacon grease and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. And garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Return bacon* to the pan and add the split peas, stirring to coat in bacon grease. Add stock, beer, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim foam off the top until it stops forming, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add sprigs of thyme and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook until it reaches a desired consistency. Add more chicken stock if needed.
  5. Remove soup from heat and carefully remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  6. If desired, puree half of the soup in batches using a food processor (or leave in the pot and use an immersion blender). Blend more of less based on your preference.
  7. Return to the pot and warm before serving.


*You can also reserve some bacon as topping.

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted from Teenie Cakes and NY Times Cooking.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

You may also like


Trevor February 3, 2013 - 9:15 am

Smells delicious, do I wait till the end to take out the ham bone, or take it out just before simmering?

spiffycookie February 3, 2013 - 12:43 pm

This recipe does not call for a ham bone, but you can add it if you would like. If using I would leave it in until the end.

Kita March 19, 2012 - 9:44 am

:) Im so glad everything went well with your mom.

I <3 me some split pea soup after trying it for the first time last year. Its soooo hearty and tasty!

Liz March 16, 2012 - 3:39 pm

I am definitely making this with my Easter ham bone…SO yummy! As do your asiago twists! And I’m SO glad your mom’s procedure went well….my hubby puts in carotid stents…and I know it’s risky. WHEW.

spiffycookie March 16, 2012 - 3:49 pm

Oh I bet this soup would be great with a ham bone in there. And thank for the well wishes about my mom! She is doing great.

Veronica Gantley March 16, 2012 - 11:25 am

Glad to hear your mom is doing better. The soup looks wonderful Thanks for sharing with us.

Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) March 15, 2012 - 8:33 pm

That’s wonderful news about your mom! Split pea soup is one of my favorites!

Tracey March 15, 2012 - 8:31 pm

Such good news about your mom Erin, I’m so incredibly happy for you and your family. I can’t imagine the relief :)

Peas are one of the few veggies I still haven’t learned to like yet, but I’m going to keep trying!

Cara March 15, 2012 - 5:44 pm

I’m so happy to hear the good news about your mom! I’ve seen your posts on twitter and has hoping she was doing ok.

BigFatBaker March 15, 2012 - 4:23 pm

Oh my gosh I am so glad that things are going better with your mom.
The split pea soup sounds so tasty! I love peas and still haven’t gotten around to making a big pot of this. I need to asap. Great recipe!

spiffycookie March 15, 2012 - 4:27 pm

Thanks! And It definitely makes a big ol’ pot.

Kara March 15, 2012 - 2:26 pm


I am glad to hear that your mom’s surgery went well!


Lacy @ NYCityEats March 15, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Yay! Great news about your mom! I’m glad everything went well.

This split pea is actually one that I would eat! I love the potatoes & thickness in general. I wish my boyfriends father was around so I could impress him with this soup! He’s a huge fan of split pea soup AND he’s Irish,would have been perfect! Maybe I’ll just have to try it out on my boyfriend instead. :) Great recipe!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 15, 2012 - 12:08 pm

I am SO happy to hear your mom is doing well and going home tomorrow!!! That is really fabulous news!!

Vicki @ WITK March 15, 2012 - 12:05 pm

So glad to hear that things went well with your mom! Hooray for great doctors! Hopefully she’ll feel better soon and get to go home and get her cakes pops! :)

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts March 15, 2012 - 9:57 am

So glad to hear that your mom is doing well! I wish her a speedy recovery!
I am not a fan of split pea soup, but my husband loves it! I might have to break down and make him this soon!

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers March 15, 2012 - 9:03 am

I am so happy that your Mom’s surgery went well!! When she gets your cookies, she will be so happy and just love them! As for your soup, it looks fantastic! Perfect color for this holiday!!

Liz @ Southern Charm March 15, 2012 - 9:02 am

I am so happy to hear your mom’s surgery went well! Y’all are still in my thoughts and prayers!!

Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray March 15, 2012 - 8:10 am

I’m SO glad that everything with your mom’s surgery went so well! That’s wonderful news. :)

And this soup looks fabulous–thick and hearty and perfect to satisfy a craving for some comfort food. I like my soups nice and thick like this!

Miriam @ Overtime Cook March 15, 2012 - 6:18 am

So happy to hear about the success of your mom’s surgery!


Leave a Comment

* By using this form you consent to the storing of your message attached to the e-mail address you've used. (Data will not be shared with any 3rd-parties)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Read More