By Mayo Clinic Staff
Split pea soup

Dietitian's tip:

When you want a quick, hearty meal, this soup, made with yellow split peas, pairs well with crusty whole-grain bread or a fresh-vegetable medley.

Number of servings

Serves 4


    For the chive cream

  1. 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives, plus long cuts for garnish
  2. 3 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt
  3. 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 1 1/2 cups dried yellow or green split peas, picked over, rinsed and drained
  12. 3 cups water
  13. 3 cups vegetable stock or broth
  14. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  15. 1/2 cup chopped lean ham


To make the chive cream, in a small blender or food processor, combine the chopped chives, yogurt, buttermilk, sugar and salt. Process until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the carrot and saute until the carrot is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the split peas, water, stock, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the peas are tender, 60 to 65 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return to the saucepan over medium heat. Reheat gently.

Ladle into warmed individual bowls. Top each serving with a drizzle or swirl of chive cream and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped ham and a few long cuts of fresh chives. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

  • Total fat 11 g
  • Calories 393
  • Protein 23 g
  • Cholesterol 7 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 56 g
  • Dietary fiber 12 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 6 g
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Sodium 695 mg

This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook," published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.

April 15, 2011