Raise your hand if you’ve got a bag of frozen peas somewhere in the back of your freezer! This recipe is for you. It’s a perfect last-minute meal (30 minutes, tops!) for when you haven’t got a plan for dinner. Plus it’s delicious! Updated May 16, 2023.
Today Truman was on the front porch having a meltdown. He can’t open the screen door himself, and wouldn’t ask me nicely to open it for him (the door was ajar) so I was listening and waiting in the kitchen until he decided to use his manners. Then I hear the doorbell ring. That’s when I lost it a little bit and started telling him sternly (<< we all know what that’s code for right) that it is NOT OKAY to ring the doorbell when you’re supposed to be asking nicely for help.
And then I hear my neighbor Tyrone call out. “Just came to check on the little guy.” And then I’m all flustered explaining my disciplinary tactics and I swear I’m a good mom and I don’t lock my children outside and gosh I’m sorry I yelled at you when you rang my doorbell.
I think I’m definitely the weird neighbor that everyone in the court talks about. I promise I won’t yell at you if you come to my house, guys. (Unless you are being a disrespectful toddler, then you’re gonna get it.)
I think if you forced me to pick a favorite soup (it would require force, because I love sooo many, like this Ham Mac and Cheese Soup, 10 Minute Wonton Soup, and of course everyone’s favorite, the famous Beef Barley Soup) I might choose Split Pea Soup with Smoked Gouda. It can be made in the slow cooker, so it’s easy, plus I just love the smokey flavor from the ham and gouda. It is so comforting to me.
But that soup is made with dried peas, and I had never even considered the idea of making soup with fresh (or frozen) peas until I saw Soni’s recipe over at Soni’s Food. (You should totally follow her blog if you’re not already! She’s got some amazing recipes to check out, like this Mixed Vegetable Curry, Thai Meatballs, and homemade Paratha! It all looks so amazing.)
My recipe is a little different from Soni’s because I just couldn’t let go of that smokey flavor I love in my Split Pea Soup. I wanted to keep it meatless (read: EASY. no defrosting please.) so instead of smoked ham I sprinkled in some smoked paprika as well as some chipotle chili powder. (Did you know that chipotle chilis are just smoked jalapeños?) The result is creamy, smokey pea perfection.
Also I have a secret to tell those of you who are reading the post instead of skipping to the recipe, I didn’t measure the celery for the recipe. (Suckas! They’ll never know!) It says “1 cup” down there but I really have no idea. Here’s the picture, how much does it look like to you?
The point is that it doesn’t matter too much, so don’t sweat it. I rarely measure celery by the stalk (use 1 stalk, 2 stalks, etc.) because I’m obsessed with celery leaves. I start chopping the whole bunch, right from the end, so that I get all those delicious leaves in my soup. Celery makes for the BEST soup!
I love this recipe because I ALWAYS have a bag of peas in my freezer, and there’s a darn good chance I have celery, onions, and garlic too. Chicken broth is a given because I always have Better Than Bouillon on hand. I love 30 minute meals that I can make from pantry/freezer items when I haven’t planned anything for dinner! It’s the best. Plus this soup is healthy to boot. WIN!
If you make any of my recipes, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it! I love that.
More soup! I found a few of my favorite pureed ones for you:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup << can you still find butternuts in the store? Snag one next time you’re out; this soup slays.
- Easy Cheddar Cauliflower Soup << This recipe is quick and I’ve made it SO many times when I have a head of cauliflower I don’t know what to do with it. Delicious.
- Simple Asparagus Soup << this is a recipe from my sister (kinda) and it’s also super easy. Very similar to today’s pea soup actually.
- Curried Cream of Cauliflower and Apple Soup from A Beautiful Plate
- Cream of Celery Soup from CopyKat Recipes
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30 Minute Pea Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 7 cups peas, One 2-pound package frozen peas
- 4 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt, more or less to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup cream
- Add olive oil.
- When the mixture is hot, add the chopped onion and celery.
- Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent.
- Add chopped garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the peas.
- Add 4 cups of chicken broth, thyme, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. You can cover it to make it go faster, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over.
- Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onions and celery are completely soft.
- Turn the heat off. Use your immersion blender to puree the soup, or use a regular blender with a towel over the top of the spout (to let steam escape). You'll have to do a few batches. The soup turns out a lot creamier when you use a real blender.
- If your soup is looking thick, feel free to add that last cup of chicken broth if you want.
- Add the cream to the soup and heat it up again on the stove if necessary.
- Serve with extra crunchy French bread!
A neighbor was moving and gave away food from her freezer and fridge. From her, I got a 2 lbs bag of frozen peas. I live alone, so 2 lbs would last me a long time. Because I love split pea soup, I decided to search for a pea soup recipe using frozen peas, and I came across this one. I made this soup yesterday. I really like the smokey flavor the paprika and the chipolte gives to this soup, but here is where I would make a change: (1) less broth and more peas, and (2) forget the immersion blender; use a traditional stand-up blender instead, and (3) add carrots. I could tell the soup was going to be too watery for me, so I added more frozen peas that I had on hand. I love my immersion blender; I use it all the time, but after using my immersion blender on this recipe, there was too much “pea residue” that I felt like I was chewing on pea skins and not enjoying any creaminess. So I re-blended it in a traditional blender and it became much more creamy. But still, something was missing. And I remembered how much I like carrots in my split pea soup, so I quickly chopped up some carrots, microwaved them until soft, and blended them until creamy, and whisked them into the soup. Now you’re talking!
i love your notes Lynn! Thanks so much for chiming in with your experience! my goal for this soup really was to use up a bag of peas, so that’s why it’s a little bare bones and simple. But who could say no to a few carrots?? Love it. Thanks for taking the time to review!
Lynn! I used your notes when I made this for lunch last week. Added in some carrots; used less broth; blended in a blender. It was perfect! I updated the recipe. I didn’t include carrots as a necessary ingredient because I want this soup to be a super last minute meal and I know many people don’t have carrots on hand. (If anyone wants to add some, add about 1 cup chopped carrots in with the onions and celery.) But the broth adjustment and blender recommendation are great. It really does make it so much more creamy! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your ideas with me! 💕
This soup was absolutely delicious and easy to make. The freezer of our 20 yr old refrigerator quit so I am looking for ways to use lots of stuff. THANKS!
Oh I’ve sooo been there with the busted freezer Catherine! So glad the soup turned out, thanks for reviewing!
I accidentally thawed a 5# bag of peas while rearranging the chest freezer to make room for even more tomatoes (bumper crop). Sheesh. Soup it was! I pulled all the late season celery and used this recipe doubled plus a pinch (3 onions, heaping 2 cups celery, 3Tbs butter etc). I also used 2 chipotles canned in adobo, a dash of liquid smoke, the tail end of a jar of Frontier fake bacon bits, and a single fresh Bay leaf. The 14 cups of broth were plenty and the bouillon I used potent so no added salt or broth seemed necessary. Very very pleased! Love the simplicity and sweetness of the peas vs. split peas. Now it’s back into the freezer for winter with most of it! Thanks for the recipe =^}
I’ve totally done stuff like that before, thawed things I didn’t mean to thaw! Haha, I’m glad you found a solution. Your soup sounds delicious with all the fresh celery and canned chipotle! Thanks so much for taking a minute to review!
Maybe I missed it but I would love to have the nutrition info for this recipe.
I plan to use yogurt instead of cream.
Hi Nancy! I don’t provide nutrition info, but you can easily plug it into an online calculator!
Try adding some bay leaves – it adds a whole new dimension! I also use bay in my bean soup.
Oooh I love that idea Karen! Bay leaves are pretty magical. Totally trying it next time! Thanks for the tip!
I just made this soup and added ham at the end as I had leftover ham from a baked ham. I also added a few drops of Liquid smoke along with the smoked paprika and chipotle tabasco. It is not spicy but gives it a great smoky flavour.
I have made this early in the day and will warm for dinner tonight and add the yogurt at that time. I will also serve it with a dob of fat free sour cream to cut the sweetness of the peas.
With the leftovers…. They will be frozen in single serve containers for my 20ish kids who never want to cook past the microwave.
Cheers and thanks for this quick meal solution.
love the idea of doing single servings in the freezer Lisa!! Great tip!
Weirdly obsessed with this pea soup recipe this winter! It finally gave me something delicious to do with those frozen peas kicking around our freezer for no apparent reason. I’ve made the soup 5 times in the past month or so already!
RE: smoky ham flavor/vegetarians. I’ve been using 3-4 tbsp of McCormick’s Bac’n Bits (which are vegan!) in lieu of smoked paprika/chipotle, and these work divinely well for depth of flavor! (The BF is pescetarian AND Southern, and we’ve found that sauteeing/softening Bac’n Bits in butter and various other sauces gets us pretty close to those decadent, smoky flavors he craves and misses.) Thanks for this recipe and your fun website!
Okay that is such an awesome suggestion Jenifer! I have several recipes calling for ham bone with lots of comments from vegan/vegetarian readers trying to get that smoky flavor. I will recommend Bac’n Bits from now on! Thank you!
This was delicious! I didn’t have any celery at home so added grated parsnip instead – beautiful! Had it for lunch that day and for lunches during the week. Still as delicious heated up days later.
Parsnip! Great substitution. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with a parsnip. Charlatan! I need to try it out!
Can I make this ahead of time? I’m a crazy home cook who cooks in huge batches for friends. Most likely they will be eating the soup the next day. Do leftovers still look bright & delicious?
I’ve never made split pea with fresh/frozen peas, but I’m so intrigued! I have a new love for frozen peas. High in protein & vitamins. My kids prefer eating them frozen like healthy ice cream pearls. And huge organic bags are so affordable! I add them to pesto now & will never go back. Thanks!
“Healthy ice cream pearls” haha! Why don’t they market them as such?? My kids like to snack on frozen peas to :) And great idea adding them to pesto! Genius!
The soup tastes great the next day. I’m not sure if the color will have faded a bit, I imagine it might. I didn’t pay attention that much, too busy eating! I hope you love the recipe Malia, thanks for the comment!
Delicious and so very easy to make. Thanks.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup Terri! I love this one. Thanks for the review!
Serving your kids pea soup for dinner doesn’t signify neglect. Plus, it’s nutritious and delicious. I’m proud to say I grew up on pea soup for dinner. It was usually accompanied by fresh corn bread. I fed my kids pea soup for dinner quite often too. They loved it. Of course, that was before people got this crazy notion in their heads that they had to have pricey food to be well fed. First of all, the peas are full of protein. Second, it’s not processed to death. Third, it’s far more nutritious than that nasty, grease filled, meat lovers’ pizza you fed your kids for dinner last night. Oh, you had prime rib? Well, guess what? The homemade pea soup is better for you. It’s delicious and it’s really good for us. Which is more than I can say for that greasy fast food hamburger you shoved down your kids’ throats on the way to soccer practice. Want fries with that? Add several bazillion calories. Hey, they’re already halfway to their first heart attack. Why not throw in a milkshake for good measure? Pea Soup is not child abuse. It’s good parenting.
Isn’t there any way I can just pin the blasted pea soup recipe without having to wade through every pin you have ever pinned?!?
Sure Leslie! Just click the “pin it” button that appears on every photo in the post.
This soup was delicious. I enjoyed this version of pea soup although I changed around a couple ingredients Instead of chicken I used two boxes of beef broth.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup Jun! I’m sure the beef broth tasted great, good idea! Thanks for your feedback!
I have to admit, I have never had pea soup before… Sad, I know. I am positive that after seeing this recipe I have to try it, though! YUM!
Not even split pea?? Oh man. Come to my house Annie, I will make you some. You are missing out!!
I love quick weeknight soups. I like how it’s super budget friendly too. Perfect for St. Patty’s day.
Yes, sooo cheap I forgot to mention that! Frozen peas have gotten me through some tight times! AND I forgot to mention that it’s green for St. Patrick’s. You read my thoughts from the day before I wrote this. haha!
Thanks so much for the shoutout!😍I love your idea of adding the smokey element into this soup and can imagine the deliciousness :) I’m going to add chipotle and smoked paprika too now!
Thanks for the recipe Soni! I really am in love with this soup! And let me know if you like it with the smokey flavors :)