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Mexican Split Pea Soup

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsps cumin, ground
  • 2 tsps oregano, dried
  • 1 cup split peas, green, (or yellow) dried; rinsed
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 4-ounce can green chilies, chopped
  • 1 14 ½ ounce can tomatoes, whole or dried
  • 1 10-ounce box corn, kernels, frozen, or 1 15-ounce can corn, drained
  • 1 large bell pepper, green; seeded and chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese; shredded (optional)
  • red pepper flakes, (optional)


  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook onion in oil until it is tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add cumin and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Add oregano and split peas, stir to coat peas with oil, then add water and chilies. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 35 to 45 minutes, or until peas are just tender.
  • Add tomatoes, corn, and bell pepper and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  • Sprinkle each serving with shredded cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired.


A generous sprinkling of cheese and a dash of red pepper bring out the best in this soup.