Feed a Crowd with Our Favorite Split Pea Soup Recipe

Fall is here and the chill in the air has us inspired to get back in the kitchen and cook some of our favorite Big Batch recipes. At Outta The Park, we are big fans of the "Cook Once and Eat All Week" approach to cooking, so we like to spend some time on the weekends cooking big. That way when the week's sporting events for our 3 kids pull us away from home at dinner time, we can still enjoy a quick home-cooked meal.

Our family favorite recipe for split pea soup was written down years ago from an issue of Mothering Magazine. I have made this many times as a single batch - the first recipe listed below. As our kids have grown the single batch now produces a single meal, so I've recently scaled up this recipe so that I have about 2 Gallons of Split Pea Soup as my yield. Making the big batch version, I can feed my family of 5 three soup meals over a few days and still have 3-4 quarts in the freezer to use at a later date.

This soup is delicious and it freezes well so why not make it BIG enough to eat for a month?! The choice is yours - small batch and big batch recipes follow!

Split Pea Soup Recipe

Small Batch Ingredients:

- 1 Cup green split peas, soaked 4-6 hours in filtered water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2-3 small potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- Black pepper, fresh ground
- 4 cups chicken broth/bone broth
note: homemade is best, can substitute veg broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small ham bone (optional)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions (Note use same instructions for small and large batches)

1. Soak split peas 4-6 hours in 4 cups of water
2. Discard soaking water, rinse peas before adding to pot
3. Heat butter in soup pot, when it foams add olive oil and mix fats well
4. Add onions and salt and sauté until onions begin to soften
5. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, cumin, pepper and 1/4 cup of broth and sauté an additional 5-7 minutes. Add more stock as needed for moisture.
6. Add split peas, remaining broth and bay leaf.
7. Add ham bone and apple cider vinegar
8. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Put lid on pot and make sure it is well vented. Simmer 60-90 minutes.
9. Once peas have softened and soup is creamy, remove bay leaf and ham bone. Remove any desired meat from the ham bone and add back to soup
10. Use stick blender to course blend the soup.
11. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Need to Feed A Crowd?

Here are ingredient ratios to make a Big Batch of Split Pea Soup. Just follow the instructions above and increase the amounts of each ingredient as follows to yield approximately 2 gallons of soup:

Big Batch Ingredients:

- 2 – 16 oz. bags of dried split peas (soak in ½ to 1 gallon of filtered water)
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 4 small onions or 1.5 very large onion, chopped
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons of sea salt
- 6-8 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 6-8 celery stalks, chopped
- 5-6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 Tablespoons cumin
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons black pepper
- 5-6 quarts of broth
– enough to cover all the ingredients plus extend above that – depending on the diameter of your pot, you may want to go 1 – 1 ½ inches above the ingredients. If you add too much it is okay because you can cook longer to get the texture you desire.
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 ham hock (optional)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

When we freeze this soup, we cool the soup first by letting it sit on the stovetop for a bit. Then we transfer the entire pot into a cooler with ice for a while, and then we move the soup pot to the fridge if there is space - we have a garage fridge that typically can accommodate a huge stock pot. Once the soup is sufficiently cooled, we transfer it to as many quart size yogurt tubs as we can fill, and then put the yogurt tubs in the freezer for tasty soup to enjoy later. Notes: be sure to leave some space at the top of the tub when filling. Also, if you don't cool the soup down first you will have lots of ice crystals, plus it's a good idea to avoid putting hot or warm foods in plastic tubs in general.

*This recipe is shared with Kelly the Kitchen Kop on Real Food Wednesday.