Creamy Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Mushrooms

For a vegetarian alternative, soak the peas in vegetable broth with a few drops of liquid smoke (instead of using water). And, of course, hold the ham hocks and bacon!

Serves: 6Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 2 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1⁄2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1⁄2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 lb. dried green split peas, soaked overnight in water to cover
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 lbs. ham hocks
  • 1 lb. baking potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 strips bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon black pepper, Worcestershire, and hot sauce; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the split peas along with their soaking liquid, bay leaves, cloves, ham hocks, and potatoes to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that appears on the surface. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in small skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and let drain on paper towel-lined plate. Add sliced mushrooms to fat left in skillet and cook until softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Add to plate with bacon and reserve for serving.
  • Remove the ham hocks from soup and reserve for another use. Remove bay leaves then puree the soup with an immersion blender. Season with salt and remaining pepper. Garnish each serving with bacon and mushrooms.