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Czech Split pea soup recipe

Split Pea Soup with Bacon

Creamy split pea soup smelling of garlic and dried marjoram. The recipe comes from the Czech Republic, where it is called "hrachova polevka". It often appears on the Czech Christmas table as part of the festive menu.
Course Soup
Cuisine Czech
Keyword Czech Christmas, Legume Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 330kcal


  • 1 and ½ cups yellow split peas (300 g)
  • 5 cups broth (1.2 l) beef, chicken or vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream (120 ml) fat content 30 % and more
  • 4 ounces sliced bacon (110 g) optionally, smoked meat or sausage
  • 6 handfuls bread croutons


  • Pour the broth into a pot and add the split peas. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pot and let it simmer until the peas are tender. This step usually takes 30-40 minutes.
  • Blend the soft peas with an immersion blender, but not until smooth. The soup should be creamy but with a coarser texture.
  • Add the grated garlic and dried marjoram. Rub the marjoram between your fingers before adding.
  • Add heavy cream to the soup—mix, salt, and pepper. Put the soup back on the stove. Bring it to a boil and then immediately set it aside, do not cook any further.
  • Cut the bacon slices into strips and fry them in a pan in melted lard until almost crispy.


  • SERVING: Serve the split pea soup warm, add a spoonful of fried bacon to the plate and throw in a handful of bread croutons. Add these to the soup just before serving; otherwise, they will get soggy.
  • The soup is filling, and it can perfectly serve as a lighter stand-alone course. In our house, we traditionally eat it as a Czech Christmas soup.
  • Instead of bacon, pan-fry cubes of smoked meat, or sausage cut into slices.
  • If you want to have the soup on the table quickly, be careful to use split peas, which do not need to be soaked beforehand.
  • The soup is thickened by blending the peas, contains no flour, and is thus naturally gluten-free.


Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 928mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 791IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg