Split Pea’d

By Kate Riley October 20, 2011

When I was a kid, split pea soup was one of the few vegetable soups I actually liked.  Whenever we traveled back home from visiting the relatives, we’d always stop at Pea Soup Andersons for a hot bowl of their famous soup.  Split pea has always been one of my favorite fall soups, but as a habit, I’ve always bought the bag of green ones. Isn’t if funny how we do that, always buy the same things at the grocery store out of habit. 

We’re having cool morning fog lately, and cool weather always gives me a hankerin’ for soup so this week it was split pea. This time, I ventured out into new territory and grabbed the yellow versions instead. That’s me, livin’ on the edge! Green split peas beware, your yellow sisters are convincing me that they’re a tad bit prettier in the bowl. 

spicy yellow split pea soup


Here’s the easy recipe.  I like mine a little spicy, hence the cayenne. 


Spicy Split Pea Soup, Ingredients:

3 cups dried split peas

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

4 cups water

1 cup finely diced carrots

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

crème fraiche + crouton garnish (optional)

To make: rinse split peas and drain. Place split peas in large pot and combine with broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.  After 30 minutes, add cayenne, carrots, and additional water to pot, and simmer on medium low heat another 30 minutes, or until split peas are soft.  Add ½ to 1 cup of extra water or skim milk at the end if soup is too thick.  You can always add diced bacon or ham to make it meatier.  Garnish with a drizzle of crème fraiche + croutons (optional) and serve warm. 

So while I was whipping up a batch of split pea soup, I happened to notice that those pretty little split peas looked like brads used for cardmaking.  Hmmm.  My creative mind got to thinking, and while the soup simmered, I got my craft on and came up with a few little fun yellow split pea creations. 

Here are some kid craft ideas for your Thanksgiving table.  Set up a station with split peas, glue, scraps of paper, and dried bits of corn husks and have the kids recreate miniature ears of corn to embellish “I’m Thankful For” place cards for the table.

mini corn im thankful card cg


Make studded decorative napkin rings with more scraps of paper, glue, and peas. 

split pea napkin ring cg


Or put them in charge of the centerpiece!  Hand the kids some pumpkins, and have them decorate the gourds in their own fun patterns.  

yellow split pea pumpkin cg


A great way to keep the kids busy during your Thanksgiving meal prep! 





  1. I love this post. The soup looks delicious and more importantly, easy to make. Love, love, love the craft ideas for thanksgiving. Great way to get the kids involved, even the older ones! thanks.

  2. When i was young we glued split peas on to glasses then sprayed them with white paint and created a milk glass vase.

  3. Sounds delicious…a question for you: what are the 4 cups of water? Is it to add in the end if it’s too thick?
    Thank you and as always love to read your blog!


  4. Mmmm, split pea soup! It’s one of my favorites, but I’ve only ever used the green split peas too. I’ll have to give the yellow ones a try.

    Did you know you can make split pea soup in the crockpot? In my opinion, it’s even better than making it on the stove because the slow cooking makes the peas super soft and the soup gets really thick. Just put the peas in the crock first, then layer in the carrots, onion, (I use a hammock too), etc, and pour about 6 c. broth on top. Don’t stir, and cook on low 8 hours. Add diced ham at the end if desired. It’s SO good :)

    Love the crafts too :)

  5. I love split pea soup so I am printing the recipe to try. Maybe my kids will even try it since it’s not green, lol!

  6. I love split pea soup, but I’ve always had the green kind too. I’ve never tried the yellow kind. Such creative ideas for the crafts! I may have to try those out this year.

    I love the white china with the brown leaves. May I ask what is the pattern?

  7. The green vs. yellow peas took me back to h.s. biology and Mendel’s gene theories! Great craft ideas. Love the split pea and the white bean, too! Gotta make these comfort foods this fall!

  8. I love split pea soup; we actually had it last night (from a mix with water, but still tastey). I will have to make yours! Thanks for sharing, and you are so creative! My fav is the napkin holder!

  9. The sign of a true crafter is when she sees Thanksgiving decor in her bag of split peas! :) Love the Thanksgiving placecards!

  10. thanks for the recipe. finally a pea soup with ham (to appease my jewish hubby). i will be trying it this weekend.

  11. CG, at first I was shocked that you even considered making split pea soup without using a ham bone but then I saw your embellished pea decorations and instantly forgave you! You constantly amaze me. You are my biggest ‘girl’ crush!

    PS I have only used the yellow split peas – maybe I should try the green!

    • Hey Victoria, thanks so much!
      My mom ALWAYS makes split pea with a ham bone ! It’s delish!


  12. Pea Soup Andersons! I actually really don’t like split pea soup, but I remember stopping there once as a little girl visiting my grandparents in Cali. They had this china doll in the gift shop that I fell in love with and so I spent $60 of my precious allowance money on her! Now she’s up in the closet at my parents house…

    • Ha, Lindsay, so funny what we “MUST” have as youths and where it ends up!

    • Hi Traci, thanks for the link, off to check it out! Who would have thought something so mundane could be used in decorative ways!

  13. My family LOVES split pea soup…. I make our with lot’s of ham and being from Arizona, green chilies…delish!!! After reading this I pulled the ham bone out of the freezer and have a big pot cooking now. Thanks for the fall kick-off.

  14. I did not even realize that the napkin ring was embellished with beans! That is so cute! You always come up with some of the best ideas! Love that you think outside the box!

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