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Smoked Turkey Split Pea Soup

smoked turkey split pea soup and baguette

Smoked Turkey Split Pea Soup

The weather is certainly keeping everyone alert.  We hope that all those with family and friends impacted by the recent storms in Texas and Florida are safe and sustained minimal damages. Having grown up in Florida, most of my immediate family is there and gratefully safe although still unaware of the extent of damage Irma has caused.  With Fall rapidly approaching, my husband was thrilled to smell the robust smokey aroma of Smoked Turkey Split Pea Soup Friday evening after work.  We certainly never thought that ‘split pea’ anything would be that great, but it is!  Designed to be a hearty main course meal – just add a crusty baguette, cornbread, savory scones or biscuits, a beverage and you are good to go.

Stove-top or Slow Cooker?

Le creuset enamel cookware is a favorite of ours – you get a workout as you cook!  Yes it is heavy and can be a bit pricey, but worth every penny.  When I am home and have the time I do like to make this is my bouillabaisse pot.  I’ll start on the stove top as the recipe suggests, but then I’ll put the pot in the oven on a low temp and forget about it unless I put a timer on.  But one of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is adaptable to a slow cooker.  The pix you see were from a recent batch make in a large oval slow cooker and which I used frozen smoked turkey drumsticks.  Anyone in the Atlanta area has probably heard of DeKalb Farmers Market – it is a haul for our family to get to – you can find just about anything you can possibly imagine.  My wonderful husband pick’s up whatever I have listed, which always includes some of their smoked turkey.  It is promptly frozen unless I’m making this straight away.  Since it is already smoked and is covered with seasonings, you don’t have to add much of anything.  The next best smoked turkey find for our family was Koch Brand at Whole Foods – however, I have to warn, it is very salty.  So adapt this to the slow cooker or cook away on the stove top!  And you can even use frozen meat.

Can I freeze Smoked Turkey Split Pea Soup?

Yes!  We are easily entertained in our household and constantly making fun of ourselves.  One of the things we now laugh about is that we somehow made up the term and actually measure the contents of ‘the soup bank.’  Before the Cultivated Tree Olive Oil Co. came into being, I traveled – A LOT.  My territory of responsibility covered 12 southeast states – so planning meals became a part of planning my travels and therefore the organic emergence of  ‘the soup bank.’  If I cannot freeze the soup in a 32 oz container, chances are, you will not be seeing a recipe.  I often use already existing food containers – like 32 oz yogurt containers.  The soup gets cooled after cooking – if it wasn’t for a large gathering, then stored in the fridge overnight and then labeled and put into the freezer as part of the soup bank – which can be easily withdrawn from anytime I need a quick meal!

We hope you try this and enjoy it as we do …. believe it or not – kids like it – maybe because of the color!

Smoked Turkey and Split Pea Soup

smoked turkey split pea soup and baguette A delicious spin on Split Pea Soup that holds up as a main course. It is easily adapted to a slow cooker and also freezes well if the yield is large for your immediate needs.

  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 1h 45m
  • Total Time: 2h 5m
  • Serves: 8
  • Yield: 8 Main Course Servings
  • Category: ,


  • 4 tablespoons any Cultivated Tree Extra Virgin Olive Oil - such as a Favolosa, Coratina, Koroneiki or Picaul
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (cut in thicker coins if you are doing the slow cooker method)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 medium)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (add in the last 30 minutes of cooking if using the slow cooker method)
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram (add in the last 30 minutes of cooking if using the slow cooker method)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups dried split peas, rinsed and checked for stones
  • 2 pounds smoked turkey (legs or wings - find fresh at your deli or Koch's brand at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • sour cream as a garnish (optional)


Prep Notes

  1. Wash and chop all of your vegetables first. You can make this on the stove top in a large bouillabaisse pot. Or, choose to put it in a large oval slow cooker for the day - about 8-10 hours on low. Most slow cookers automatically switch to warm in case you work for 8 hours. If you choose the slow cooker method - adjustments are listed at the end.

Stove Top

  1. Heat a large heavy pot to medium-low.
  2. Pour in your Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add carrots, leeks, onion, thyme, marjoram, and bay leaves.
  3. Cook the vegetables covered for about 20 minutes - stirring occasionally - until they are tender.
  4. Add the peas, smoked turkey and the chicken broth.
  5. Bring to a simmer; cover partially and cook until the peas are tender 1-2 hours. This time varies depending upon the peas and the pot!
  6. Check the peas for tenderness at the hour mark and remove the turkey to allow it to cool a bit for easy handling. Cut, or pull from bones, into bite size pieces.
  7. Discard the bones, skin/fat and the bay leaves.
  8. Return the meat to the soup and allow to cook until the peas are tender and fall apart when stirred.
  9. Adjust seasoning to taste with fresh ground pepper and sea salt
  10. Mix the parsley in and ladle into bowls - top with a dollop of sour cream!
  11. Great served with your favorite cornbread, savory scones, baguette or biscuits.

Slow Cooker Adjustments

  1. Cut your carrots into slightly thicker coins than your would for the stove top method. Saute your onions and leeks for about 5 minutes and then add everything, except the marjoram and thyme, to a large oval slow cooker! Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the peas are soft. Add the marjoram and thyme the last 30 minutes and remove the meat to allow it to cool slightly. Cut from bones and add back to soup. Stir adjust seasoning and enjoy.