How to Make Andersen’s Split Pea Soup Recipe at Home

If you have ever had split pea soup at Pea Soup Andersen Restaurant, you know this meal is delicious, hearty, and filling. It’s only normal to want to prepare it at home instead of going to a restaurant. But how do you prepare the famous Andersen’s Split pea soup recipe at home? The recipe is simple and takes a short time. Let’s break it down for you.

The Recipe for the Vintage Split Pea Soup

Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need for the soup.


  • 2 cups of split peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large carrot (diced)
  • 2 quarts of water (8 cups of water)
  • 1 medium onion (finely diced)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The dried split peas should be picked through and well-rinsed. The carrot, onion, garlic, and celery are for adding flavor, while the bay leaf, thyme, and pepper are for seasoning the meal. You can also replace water with chicken stock or vegetable stock to add more flavor to the soup.


Here is a step-by-step guide to preparing the meal.

  1. In a large pot, combine the peas, carrot, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and water or the stock.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil at medium heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture cook for at least 25 to 30 minutes or until the peas are tender.
  4. When the food is almost ready, add salt and pepper to taste. If you’re sensitive to sodium, add less salt.
  5. Remove the bay leaves, then pour the soup into a food mill and process it to get a smooth and creamy texture.
  6. Pour it back into the pot and bring it to a boil, then remove it immediately. If it’s too thick, you can add water to thin it out or until you achieve the desired consistency.

Serve hot in a bowl and garnish with parsley, breadcrumbs, or croutons. Other people garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, bits of crisp bacon, diced ham, or chopped scallions.

You can put the remainder in Tupperware. The soup will solidify once it’s chilled, and you can store it in the fridge.

Do Split Peas Need to Be Soaked Before Cooking?

Split peas don’t need to be soaked before cooking. Simply rinse them thoroughly to remove dust and add them directly to your recipe. Still, you can soak the split peas as that reduces the cooking time. Just make sure you discard the liquid and use fresh water when cooking.

Why Is My Split Pea Soup Not Thick?

If your split pea soup isn’t thick, it probably needs to simmer for longer. Check whether the split peas have softened, and if the vegetables are tender, then taste the broth. If the soup is watery, it needs more time. Give it a few more minutes to achieve the consistency you desire.

How Do You Thicken Homemade Split Pea Soup?

You can thicken your split pea soup by adding cornstarch, flour, or any starch substitute. For great results, don’t add the cornstarch or flour directly to the soup, as that will just clump up. Instead, pour a bit of broth into a bowl and add the flour, then mix before pouring it back into the pot.

However, we don’t think this is necessary as the pea soup will automatically thicken once you process it through the food mill and return it to the stove.

Why Won’t My Split Peas Soften?

Split peas should soften after about 45 to 60 minutes of cooking. If they aren’t, it means they weren’t stored properly or are old.

Although they can last a long time, like most cereals, they won’t last forever. If you purchased yours in a store with a low turnover, most likely, the split peas were old.

We suggest purchasing your cereals in health-focused supermarkets or health-food stores. Such places are the best for getting dried food as they are popular, and foods move quickly from the shelves.

Is Split Pea Soup Healthy?

Split pea soup is healthy. According to VeryWell Fit, it has fiber, potassium, sugar, and carbohydrates. From one serving of the soup, you get 18g of fiber and 27g of protein.

Can I Freeze Homemade Split Pea Soup?

You can freeze the soup in freezer containers or freezer bags for later use. Allow the soup to cool completely before freezing.

One of the best methods to freeze your soup is using Ziploc bags. Divide it into portions based on the servings you need for every meal. That way, you don’t need to reheat too much soup, then cool it again and refreeze it.

Reheating is quite simple. Thaw the soup and bring it to a simmer. Covering the pot allows it to thaw and heat faster.

What Can You Serve With Split Peas Soup?

Split pea soup is a whole meal by itself. But I always find it more filling and heartier when combined with a side dish. Some of the best accompaniments for this soup include the following:

  • Homemade bread
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Dinner rolls
  • Corned beef sandwich
  • Garlic bread
  • Homemade onion rings
  • Smoked ham and cheese sandwich

Why Are They Called Split Peas?

Split peas are normal peas that have been split. The splitting process is done to preserve them and speed up the cooking time.

Do Split Peas Give You Gas?

Most beans will give you gas. And since split peas are a type of beans, they also fall into this category. Nonetheless, you can rinse them thoroughly to help reduce the gas-producing sugars.

Can You Use Lentils Instead of Split Peas?

You can exchange split peas with lentils when making your soup. However, you won’t be creating Andersen’s Split pea soup but another different meal. Yes, you’ll still get soup, but this is a different recipe altogether.

If you substitute split peas for lentils, adjust the cooking time. Lentils have a tasty, earthy flavor, so you’ll still get a delicious soup.

What’s the Story Behind Andersen Pea Soup?

According to SFGate, the restaurant was started in 1924 by Antone Andersen and his wife, Juliette. Both were Danish immigrants who moved to California, bought a piece of land, and built a restaurant that they named Andersen’s Electric Café.

However, at that time, they served simple pleasures like pancakes and coffee to travelers passing by. Eventually, the wife introduced the pea soup using a recipe she came with from home. Because the soup won many people’s hearts, they changed the restaurant’s name to Pea Soup Andersen’s in 1947, which has remained ever since.

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