Get ready to warm up with the comforting flavors of Irish Green Pea Soup! As a British chef, I’ve always been a fan of traditional Irish cuisine, and this soup recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Made with green split peas, ham stock, and aromatic spices like dried sage, this soup is hearty, healthy and flavorful.
There’s something irresistible about the rich and silky texture of pea soup that warms you up on cold winter nights. And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make! Even if you’re new to soup making, this recipe is perfect for beginners. Plus, it serves up to 6 people, making it ideal for a family dinner or meal prep option.
But what makes this particular soup special is its Irish roots. Irish green pea soup is believed to have originated from the custom of cooking green peas with salt pork or bacon in northern Europe. Split peas were commonly used in Ireland as a cheap protein source during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century. Today, Irish Green Pea Soup has evolved into an iconic dish that’s still beloved by many.
So why not try your hand at making this traditional soup? This recipe promises to be a delicious and healthy mix of protein and fiber. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a delicious lunch option, Irish Green Pea Soup is sure to satisfy your cravings.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You’re in for a treat! This Irish Green Pea Soup recipe is one of my all-time favorites. And I guarantee that once you taste it, you’ll feel the same.
First off, green peas are a powerhouse of nutrition. The benefits of this legume are endless. They pack a high protein content, a great source of fiber, and are rich in many vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.
Secondly, this soup is an incredibly versatile dish that can be enjoyed on any occasion. It can be served hot or cold and pairs well with a variety of sides such as bread, crackers, or even a hearty salad.
Finally, let’s talk about the flavor – it’s simply divine! With its savory notes from cooked ham and bacon, an aromatic hint of dried sage, and subtle sweet undertones from fresh green peas, this soup is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Whether you choose to make it with fresh or frozen peas or opt to use yellow or green split peas the outcome will always be mouthwatering.
So what are you waiting for? Try this Irish Green Pea Soup recipe today and indulge in a healthy and delicious meal that fills the stomach and warms the soul.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Irish green pea soup recipe. Don’t worry, there aren’t too many! Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups of green split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 3 cups of ham stock
- 1 cup of cooked ham or ham steak, diced
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Note: If you cannot find green split peas, use yellow split peas instead.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have all our soup ingredients prepped, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these simple steps to make a delicious Irish Green Pea Soup.
Step 1: Cook the Ham and Bacon
Firstly, cook the ham and bacon in a large soup pot until they are crispy. Remove them from the pot and set them aside for later, but keep the drippings in the pot.
Step 2: Sauté Onion, Carrot and Celery
Next, sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the drippings until they turn golden brown or for about five minutes.
Step 3: Add Split Peas and Dried Sage
Add 1 cup of split peas that have been picked and rinsed along with 1 tablespoon of dried sage. Stir everything together with the vegetables.
Step 4: Pour Boiling Water and Add Ham Stock
Pour in 4 cups of boiling water, then add, 3 cups of ham stock, followed by a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Stir the mixture together again.
Step 5: Simmer the Soup
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer gently for an hour or until the peas have softened. Make sure you stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Step 6: Blend Until Smooth
Once everything has had sufficient time to cook, using your blender or immersion blender; blend the soup until smooth. If you prefer a thicker consistency, return it to low heat while stirring constantly for 5 – 10 minutes.
Step 7: Dice Ham Steak & Crumble Bacon
In the meantime, dice up a ham steak (or use leftover ham from earlier). Take your bacon previously cooked earlier on step one then crumble it.
Step 8: Add Ham, Crumbled Bacon & Fresh Pea (Optional)
Finally, stir in the diced ham steak and crumbled bacon into the soup. If desired, you can add fresh or frozen green peas to add a pop of color and flavor to your soup.
Once everything is cooked and blended to your desired consistency, you’re ready to enjoy a delicious and hearty Irish Green Pea Soup!
Substitutions and Variations
One of the beauties of the Irish Green Pea Soup recipe is its versatility – there are so many ways to change it up and make it uniquely yours! Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:
– Cooked ham, bacon, or salt pork can be used interchangeably in this recipe depending on your preference. For a smokier flavor, opt for bacon. For a more savory taste, go for salt pork.
– Dried sage can be substituted with dried thyme or marjoram if you prefer.
– If you don’t have access to green split peas, yellow split peas or dried beans can be used instead.
– Frozen peas can also be used instead of fresh, but keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly.
– For an extra burst of flavor, try adding a handful of fresh mint leaves to the soup right before serving.
– If you have leftover ham steak or even a ham hock, feel free to add that to the soup for added depth and richness.
– To make this dish vegetarian-friendly, omit the ham and use vegetable stock instead of ham stock.
– You can also switch things up by using different types of vegetables such as carrots, leeks or potatoes. Try incorporating them into the soup in new and creative ways!
No matter which substitution or variation you choose, this Irish Green Pea Soup recipe will always deliver a rich and comforting bowl of goodness. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!
Serving and Pairing
One of the best things about Irish Green Pea Soup is how versatile it is as a dish. The subtle yet flavorful taste of this soup makes it a great complement to a wide range of meals, or even perfect as a light lunch on its own. Here’s how I recommend you serve and pair this delicious soup:
Firstly, let’s talk about serving. A hot bowl of Irish Green Pea Soup served with warm crusty bread and butter is a classic combination that is hard to beat. But why stop there? Adding a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream or yogurt can add a delicious tang to the soup, while chunks of cooked ham, bacon or salt pork can give your taste buds an added burst of flavor. Additionally, adding some chopped fresh mint leaves on top can give this traditional dish an exciting new twist.
When it comes to pairing dishes with Irish Green Pea Soup, the possibilities are endless! One traditional and simple pairing is to serve it alongside Irish Soda Bread, which has a similar rustic feel to the soup. Or why not pair it with a Classic BLT Sandwich for the ultimate soup and sandwich combo? Another option is to serve it with a salad, such as mixed greens or tomato and feta salad.
Finally, if you’re looking for something more adventurous, try pairing your pea soup with some spicy foods like chicken curry or cajun-spiced shrimp for an exciting contrast in flavors. The smoky flavors of grilled meats like chicken, steak or even pork chops also go well with the earthy flavors of the soup.
In conclusion, there are so many ways to serve and pair Irish Green Pea Soup that you’ll never get bored of it! Experiment with different ingredients and find out what works best for you personally. And most importantly, enjoy every spoonful of this hearty traditional dish.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the great things about this Irish Green Pea Soup is that it can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer. Simply prepare the soup as directed and let it cool to room temperature. Once it’s completely cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve your leftover soup, simply transfer it back to a pot and heat it over low-medium heat until it’s warmed through. If the soup has thickened too much in storage, you can add a little extra ham stock or boiling water to thin it out.
If you’re planning on freezing your soup, make sure to let it cool completely before storing it. You can store the soup in one large container or use multiple smaller containers for easier portioning. Be sure to label your containers with the date so you know when they were made.
To reheat frozen soup, simply take your container out of the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Once thawed, transfer the soup to a pot and heat it over low-medium heat until warmed through.
With these handy make-ahead and storage tips, you can enjoy this delicious Irish Green Pea Soup whenever you want – whether that’s for lunch or dinner – without having to worry about cooking from scratch every time.
Tips for Perfect Results
When it comes to making the perfect Irish Green Pea Soup, there are a few key tips and tricks that can help elevate your dish from good to absolutely delicious. Here are some tips that will ensure your soup is tasty, hearty and flavorsome.
Firstly, when cooking the split peas, make sure you’re using fresh ones, as they will cook more quickly and evenly. We recommend picking and rinsing the peas thoroughly before using them in the recipe.
Secondly, adding a pinch of baking soda to the boiling water used for cooking peas can help to soften them and speed up cooking time. Be careful not to add too much though- just half a teaspoon is enough.
Another important factor that contributes to the overall taste and texture of the soup is the quality of the stock you use. We recommend using homemade ham stock for best results or a good quality store-bought one. If using a pre-made broth, be sure to check its salt content before adding any extra salt.
If you want to change things up a bit, try adding some chopped cooked bacon or diced ham steak into your Irish Green Pea Soup. The smoky flavor pairs well with green pea and creates a hearty taste. Similarly, you can add in some dried sage along with other spices like black pepper, garlic powder or onion powder.
For those who love vegetables, we recommend adding some chopped carrots, onions and celery into the soup at the start of cooking time. These flavorful veggies are very easy to find and make this soup even more nutritious.
Lastly, garnishing your Irish Green Pea Soup with some fresh mint leaves or drizzling it with a little bit of olive oil right at serving time can bring out vibrant looks and add an extra layer of flavor that perfectly complements its earthy taste.
Follow these tips for perfect results every time you make this delicious traditional Irish soup – it’s truly worth it!
When it comes to cooking, questions can often arise. In this section, I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Irish Green Pea Soup Recipe, helping you to overcome any doubts and create a delicious dish that is sure to impress. So, let’s get started!
Do you need to soak green split peas before cooking?
When it comes to cooking split peas, many people choose to soak them overnight in order to save time during the cooking process. However, it’s important to note that soaking peas is not a mandatory step. While soaking can shorten the cooking time, split peas are already known for cooking quite quickly. If opting not to soak, it can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to simmer the peas, while soaking can reduce the cooking time to about 40 minutes. Ultimately, the decision to soak or not depends on one’s personal preference and schedule.
What is the difference between yellow split pea soup and green split pea soup?
Split peas, whether they are yellow or green, have comparable cooking times and nutritional values. Nevertheless, yellow split peas have a more rustic taste, while green peas are inclined towards a sweeter flavor. The reason for their widespread use is their flexibility, which allows them to feature in the cuisine of various cultures.
Why do you skim foam off split pea soup?
It’s important to be attentive while boiling split peas. As bubbles start to form on the surface, they bring with them tiny particles of dust and dirt that couldn’t be washed away during preparation. Be sure to keep an eye out for this foam and remove it promptly, as the more you can eliminate, the cleaner and tastier your end result will be.
Why are the peas hard in my split pea soup?
Having trouble getting your split peas to soften up? This could be due to aging or improper storage, as dried beans have a limited shelf life despite their long-lasting reputation. Keep your beans fresh by ensuring they are stored in airtight containers to avoid unwanted dryness.
your meal with an Irish Green Pea Soup, and you’ll have a filling and flavorful end to your day. It’s incredible how delightful this soup can be with the rich cultural setup, the countryside whispers and lush greenery that shows up during any festive season of the year. By using simple ingredients such as ham, yellow split peas, onions, carrots, and celery, you can create a bowl of goodness that will warm up your heart and soul.
The beauty of this soup is that you can easily modify it to your food cravings. With so many variations like adding bacon or salt pork for a smoky flavor or a ham steak for extra chunkiness or even adding fresh mint to make it herbalicious! Feel free to experiment with various ingredients, switch them up too at no extra cost.
In addition, Irish Green Pea Soup Recipe is a perfect dish to prepare ahead of time when hosting family and friends as it can endure freezing just before serving. The soup reheats well over a hot stove or a crockpot spiced with freshly chopped herbs for the extra texture.
In conclusion, whether you’re an experienced chef searching for a new twist on soup or simply craving something savory to fill your stomach’s emptiness, Irish Green Pea Soup Recipe is the ultimate comfort meal. With its simplicity yet ability to leave food connoisseurs wanting more every time they try it out, there’s absolutely nothing not to love about this traditional Irish potato soup recipe. So come on, grab yourself some fresh frozen peas or some green pea soup ingredients today and start cooking!
Irish Green Pea Soup Recipe
- 6 ounces dried whole green peas
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups boiling water
- 3 cups ham stock
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 -2 cup ham stock
- salt and black pepper
- 2 2 tablespoons diced browned salt pork or 2 tablespoons bacon
- Soak peas overnight by adding baking soda and pouring boiling water over them.
- Bring ham stock to a boil. Drain peas and put in boiling stock, bring to a boil again, add sage and reduce heat to simmer.
- When peas are very soft, puree by forcing them through a sieve, or use a food processor or hand blender.
- Return puree to saucepan and reheat. Add sufficient stock to give consistency of whipping cream. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with diced ham or diced salt pork or bacon. Serves 4.
- From the Kitchens of the World.A Canadian Feast.
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Brian is a British chef cum food blogger who has been in the kitchen since he was a young lad. Growing up in Manchester, he developed a passion for cooking and a keen eye for the perfect dish. He now runs his own blog and YouTube channel, which is dedicated to sharing his passion for food with the world.