Ina’s split pea soup is a classic recipe and my addition of chorizo in place of the traditional ham takes this soup from great to unforgettable in a matter of no time at all!

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

This post was updated with new photos in November 2019. Same great recipe, just new photos!

Well, really, this recipe is called Parker’s Split Pea Soup. But I figured, who would know who Parker is just by reading the title of this post?

(Actually, Parker was a chef at Ina’s gourmet food store, Barefoot Contessa, when Ina featured his split pea soup in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.)


Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

But we ALL know Ina, don’t we??

Did I ever mention that as a kid, I would groan when I found out that split pea soup was on the menu? I mean, I haaaated split pea soup as a kid.

I’m not sure if if was the fact that it was just so…green? Or that it had ham, which I also loathed.

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

Yeah well, all of a sudden a few weeks ago, I felt this indescribable need to make split pea soup. Like, I could.not shake the craving I had for this soup!

I’m really not sure what brought this insatiable craving on, but I went out and bought a couple pounds of dried split peas and some chorizo sausage to add to Ina’s split pea soup.

The chorizo sounded like an excellent idea in place of the ham the recipe called for and the hot dogs my mom often added to split pea soup when I was a kid when she didn’t have leftover ham in the fridge/freezer.

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

A 30-Minute Soup to Make When You’re Exhausted

I then promptly put the recipe on hold – procrastinate much? – until Kyle and I returned from our vacation. The first night back, I made this soup.

It was a simple recipe and required minimal time from me standing over the stove which made it the perfect choice for a meal on a night where I definitely didn’t feel like cooking.

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

And OMGoodness. I can’t describe how incredible this soup turned out!!

How to Make Split Pea Soup

This is seriously one of the best soups I’ve ever had, let alone made because as we all know, my soup skills aren’t quite up to par. It’s the every bit of a thick soup you would expect from a split pea soup recipe but the chorizo just ramps up the flavor to another level! It adds a bit of spice and really gives what can sometimes be a bland soup a ton of depth.

Ina's split pea soup

Here are the basic steps to making this pea soup. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the full set of instructions!

STEP 1: Chop your veggies. You’ll need onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes. 

STEP 2: Sauté the onions and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven, and then add the dried herbs, carrots, potatoes, half of the dried split peas, and chicken stock. At this point, you’ll add the chorizo too, if you’re using it.

PRO TIP: Traditional split pea soup calls for ham so if chorizo isn’t your thing, add some diced ham.

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

STEP 3: Allow the soup to simmer for 40 minutes, add the rest of the split peas, and then simmer for another 40 or so minutes. The first half of the peas will break down to thicken the soup and the second batch of split peas will have a little texture left to them.

How easy is that? I honestly can’t believe how much I loved this soup!

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

I halved the recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook which still yielded a ton of soup and there were plenty of leftovers, which neither of us minded at all. Ina Garten’s split pea soup with chorizo for days and days!

The soup was thick, flavorful, and the chorizo was a wonderful smoky addition. This was the best split pea soup recipe I’ve ever eaten and it will definitely make a appearance on my menu again soon! Maybe next time I’ll make some biscuits for dipping!

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

. . . . .

If you’re looking for other really great hearty soups for winter, you need to try these!

Ina's Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

Ina's Split Pea Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ina's split pea soup is a classic recipe and my addition of chorizo in place of the traditional ham takes this soup from great to unforgettable in a matter of no time at all!


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup medium diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
  • 1 lb dried split green peas, divided
  • 8 oz pre-cooked chorizo, medium diced (see note below)
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water


  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, ½ pound of split peas, and chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking.
  3. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


I swapped out split pea soup's traditional ham for chorizo in this recipe and oh boy this was a great decision! If you can find fresh chorizo, simply saute it in some olive oil at the start of the recipe and take it out of the pot before you cook the onions and garlic. Towards the end of the soup's cooking time, toss in half of what you cooked and then top the soup with some of the extra while you serve it.

If you can only find pre-cooked chorizo links, follow the instructions above. Alternatively, cut up hot dogs or kielbasa work too and they're super nostalgic as well!

adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

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Ina's split peaIna's split pea soup

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Leave a Comment

  • Cara
    February 12, 2008 at 9:15 PM

    sounds yummy! I also thought that I didn’t like pea soup, but recently tried it again when my mom made it. She simmered beef short ribs in the soup – yum!

  • Kate
    February 13, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    I’ve never had pea soup – but it sounds like everything I love in a soup. I’ll have to “man up” and try it.

  • March 6, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    […] my thing. However, I’m working at it. I’ve had some good luck over the past 6 months with the few recipes I’ve chosen and with this recipe added to my soup repertoire, I feel like I’m on a […]

  • Gale
    January 25, 2019 at 11:11 PM

    Can I make this soup in the Slow Cooker?

    • Tara
      January 26, 2019 at 7:14 AM

      Hi Gale! I’ve never tried this but if you’re familiar enough with making soup in the slow cooker, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work! Please let me know how this turns out for you! Enjoy!

  • Susan (aka Your Loving Mom)
    November 23, 2019 at 6:12 PM

    I CANNOT believe that you are not only eating but also MAKING split pea soup! I guess our tastes really do change when we grow up. Glad you finally realized how good it is.

    • Tara
      November 27, 2019 at 8:07 PM

      I know! I can hardly believe it myself!

  • Jillian Peltzman
    November 19, 2020 at 9:52 AM

    This was awful! Do not use oregano. It over powered everything and ruined the soup. And DO NOT wait on the peas. They were still hard. I will make split pea soup again but not with this recipe. Wasted a big pot of soup. The dog didn’t even want it.

    • Tara
      November 21, 2020 at 6:14 PM

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe. I have to say, in defense of the recipe, that I doubt that 1/2 teaspoon of oregano was too much in a soup recipe that calls for 2 quarts of liquid. Is it possible that you accidentally added too much? I’ve made this recipe so many times and since it’s Ina Garten’s recipe, it’s known to be a highly reliable recipe.

  • Penny
    March 13, 2021 at 5:38 PM

    I used the original recipe of Contessa as a guideline and half a bag of peas. But the full amount of oregano that was used for the original recipe and the oregano did not overwhelm the peas. No idea what don’t wait on the peas meant because to me you keep checking and stirring and add water or broth if you think it needs it. And cook till all the veggies are tender. I was lucky to have oregano that came from Greece and ground by one of the owners to have sent back stateside to their restaurant and a relative bought me a jar. Still I don’t think the oregano would over power unless teaspoon was mixed up with tablespoon. And don’t wait on the peas meant taking the cook time literal instead of waiting for the peas to cook. Later might try your meat version.

  • Judy Sanscartier
    February 14, 2022 at 12:25 PM

    This is the second time I’ve made this…love it!
    I put all the peas in at once….what will happen?!

    • Tara
      February 18, 2022 at 11:16 AM

      Yay Judy! I love this recipe so much! If you put the peas in all at once, they’ll just end up a bit mushier that if you add them in 2 batches. I’ve done this before by mistake and the soup turned out just fine.

  • Susan
    October 1, 2023 at 6:24 PM

    Oh wow! This sounds amazing with chorizo. I think I might put the ham away and try Ina’s version. Thanks for posting!

    • Tara
      November 5, 2023 at 12:28 PM

      You’re welcome!