Because split pea soup is so easy to make, you can be tempted to put whatever spices into your bowl and call it a day.
But if you want to elevate your split pea soup game, the key is in the spices; the right ones can turn your ordinary split pea soup into a creamy, delicious masterpiece that will leave your friends begging for more.
So what are some of the best spices to put in your split pea soup? You can use a variety of spices in your split pea soup. The most common ones are sage, thyme, and rosemary. However, you can also add other spices such as curry, garlic, paprika, chili powder and more.
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What Spices to Put in Split Pea Soup: 11 Spices
Pea soup is one of those things that can really make your mouth water.
The spicy, savory fragrance of a good pea soup can fill a whole room and draw people in like moths to a flame, and the taste of a well-made pea soup is even better than the aroma.
But with so many recipes out there and so many different flavor profiles to choose from, it can be hard to decide what spices are right for making your split pea soup taste just right.
That’s why we’re here: to help you figure out which spices are going to give your split pea soup the best taste possible.
Paprika isn’t just for presentation—it can add a nice smoky flavor to your dish as well!
If you have smoked paprika on hand, even better!
That extra smokiness will take your soup from bland to grand in no time at all.
Just toss in a couple teaspoons of paprika (or less if you don’t want it spicy) and enjoy the flavor explosion.
2. Bay leaves
I love bay leaves in split pea soup. Their subtle yet warm and comforting scent brings a depth to the dish that is truly incomparable.
If you’re thinking about using bay leaves, though, keep this in mind:
Make sure you remove the bay leaf from your soup before serving it.
You can serve the soup around the bay leaf or just place it on top of the bowl.
Either way, make sure that your guests don’t accidentally eat it.
The flavor is good, but too much can be sour and bad to your digestion.
3. Cayenne pepper
When it comes to great split pea soup, there’s one thing that makes it truly the best: cayenne pepper.
If you want to spice up your next pot of soup, just add a dash of this!
Why does cayenne pepper make the best split pea soup?
It’s because it adds a little extra kick to the dish.
Cayenne peppers are known for their fiery flavor, and that means that when you add it to soup, you’ll get something with a little more heat.
And you know what else? You can use cayenne pepper in other foods too.
You can add it to your chicken or fish dishes for some extra flavor, or sprinkle some on your scrambled eggs in the morning.
There are so many ways to use this spice and make delicious meals!
Allspice is a good addition to this kind of soup for a few reasons.
First, it helps to bring out the other flavors in the soup, especially if you’re using fresh peas that have been picked recently.
Second, it adds an earthy flavor that pairs well with the smoky flavor of bacon and ham.
Third, it has antibacterial properties that can help prevent food poisoning—great if you’re going to be eating this outside or in an area where contamination might be possible!
Turmeric makes a good addition to this kind of soup for a few reasons.
First, it will help deepen the color of your broth—which always makes food look appealing—and second, turmeric has an earthy, slightly spicy flavor that will add depth and intrigue to your soup.
Coriander is a good choice for this kind of soup.
It’s a sweet, aromatic spice, and it will complement the earthiness of the peas without making the soup taste like you’re eating dessert.
Additionally, coriander is a common spice in Indian cooking, and while split pea soup is typically made in Britain or the United States, it’s nice to have a little bit of international flavor when you’re looking at a bowl full of mushy green goo.
7. Black Pepper
Black Pepper makes a good addition to this kind of soup for a few reasons.
First, it’s an incredibly versatile spice that can be added to just about anything, so why not?
Second, it adds a nice spice kick to the soup while also not being too overwhelming or spicy.
The addition of black pepper allows the other spices in the soup to shine through and create a harmonic symphony of flavors that your taste buds will adore!
But waiting for the black pepper to cook all day with the rest of your ingredients is just not going to cut it.
By adding some freshly ground black pepper at the end, you’ll get all those delicious spices without having to wait all day.
There’s a reason it’s added to so many different kinds of comfort foods: it adds a warm and tangy flavor that is reminiscent of the holidays, and it has antibacterial properties that can help boost your immune system.
It also pairs well with the other ingredients in this soup for a number of reasons.
The sweetness of the carrots is amped up by the mild heat of ginger, while the earthiness of the green peas is balanced out by its slight citrusy qualities.
Dill goes well with this kind of soup for a few reasons.
First, it’s often associated with the flavors of Sweden, where split pea soup is a staple.
Second, dill has a slightly sweet flavor that balances out the savory taste of split pea soup.
But perhaps most importantly, it’s just a great herb to have around when making any kind of soup.
Because so many soups use dill as a flavor enhancer and garnish, having some on hand makes your cooking process easier and more productive.
Marjoram goes well with this kind of soup for a few reasons.
First, it’s one of those herbs that tastes like oregano, but better.
Both are members of the mint family and taste similar, but marjoram is sweeter and more savory, so it’ll bring a little extra warmth to your dish.
Plus, it’s full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can’t hurt!
Another reason to add marjoram is that it’s considered a “cooling” spice—which is exactly what you need in an otherwise “hot” soup.
Most split pea soups are made with pork and stock, making it a warm or “hot” dish; adding something cooling can help balance the flavors and bring out the sweetness of the peas.
Marjoram has a very distinctive flavor that blends well with several vegetables and meats (such as carrots, parsley, thyme leaves, bay leaves, onions) so you can experiment with how much you need depending on what you want to eat.
11. Nutmeg powder
Nutmeg powder is an excellent spice to add to split pea soup because it adds a nice flavor, the color is appetizing, and it’s one of the best foods for you.
When you’re adding spices to your soup, it’s important that they taste good, and nutmeg powder tastes great with split pea soup.
And when I say nutmeg powder, I don’t mean just any nutmeg. You have to get the purest form you can find.
The purest form of nutmeg powder is made from perfectly ripe nutmegs.
These are rare and hard to find.
This kind will give your dish a wonderful flavor.
It’s also important that the colors of your spices look appetizing in your dish.
Nutmeg adds a lovely yellow color to any meal, so it will definitely make your split pea soup more attractive on the plate.
It should be noted that nutmeg powder is not often available in a yellow color, so you may have to look hard for this version of it.
It can help your body absorb nutrients like iron and zinc better, so if you eat more split pea soup that contains nutmeg powder, you’ll start absorbing more nutrients like iron and zinc.
How to Pick the Right Spices to Put in Split Pea Soup
Picking the right spices for your split pea soup can make or break your meal.
Follow these tips to figure out which ones are right for you!
1. Taste Your Peas
Not all peas are created equal. Some peas may be sweeter than others, while others might be bitter.
The peas you use will determine which spices are best.
If they’re a bit bitter, try adding a spice that has a softer flavor—like coriander or rosemary.
You can also add extra salt and pepper to bring out the peas’ natural sweetness.
2. Keep It Simple
If you follow the first rule, then you should have no problem selecting which spices to use in your soup.
But if you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of options available at your local supermarket, try sticking with the classics: oregano, thyme, and parsley (if you’re not making it in a crockpot).
3. Don’t Overdo It
The important thing to remember when picking spices for split pea soup is to use restraint.
It’s easy to get carried away, especially if you love the taste of spices as much as I do. You’re so excited by all the possibilities!
And you have such a clear idea in your mind of how good it’s going to taste.
And then you put too many spices, and it ends up tasting terrible—not like what you had in mind at all, but some weird, unrecognizable shapeless monster that you don’t even want to eat anymore.
So here’s my tip: start small! Don’t over-spice your soup!
Use just a few ingredients and salt and pepper, and let the flavor of the peas shine through before you start adding things that might overpower it.
4. Determine how Savory or Sweet You Want Your Soup
Determine how savory or sweet you want your soup to taste by considering the overall dish.
If you go with a heartier meat like beef or pork, then you want to add savory spices like thyme and rosemary.
If you choose a lighter meat like chicken or fish or go without any meat at all (vegetarian!), then you’ll want sweeter spices like cinnamon and fennel seed.
5. Take Allergies Into Consideration
Take into consideration any allergies that may be present at the table!
You don’t want anyone to have an adverse reaction while they’re enjoying themselves.
If there’s even a chance that someone is allergic to an ingredient in your spice blend, leave it out!
What Spices to Put in Split Pea Soup: 11 Spices
- Bay leaves
- Cayenne pepper
- Black Pepper
- Nutmeg powder
- Pick any of the spices in this post to put in your soup.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy your soup in less than 20 minutes!