Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Eryka's Sopa de Chicharos - Cuban Split Pea Soup

A few years ago I went to a local restaurant here in the Miami area called La Carreta. It is a major Cuban food chain down here and I have noticed people either really like it or dislike it. I personally like it. plus I have some good memories there with old friends. So a few years ago I went to this restaurant with my best friend on a Saturday. We were about 19 years old, broke, hungry but didn't want fast food. We had heard they have daily specials that were affordable and so on that Saturday night they had Chicharos for $3.95 a bowl. I was in heaven. I fell in love with the dish. When I got home that night I told my mom about it, which of course she had heard of, but she also told me how my grandmother used to make it for me when I was a baby. I embarked on a mission to recreate this delicious soup, aside from Broccoli Cheese Soup, this is my favorite soup. It is a meal, it is homey, it is comforting... all the things I represent in my culinary point of view! I searched for many different recipes, tried different ones, experimented and voila have come up with the recipe I am sharing with you today. I serve this with white rice but you can certainly eat this alone or with some nice bread or crackers. I personally puree the soup at the end because I like the smooth finish but you can definitely go rustic! I hope your enjoy this remarkable soup!

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped into small bits
2 celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz dried split peas (green or yellow)
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash of cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 pork bone, ham bone or ham shank
2 cups cubed ham
7 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
2-3 potatoes chopped

1. In a large stock pot, heat oil on meidum-high heat and add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook until carrots are crisp and onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook together for about 2 minutes.

2. Add the peas, bay leaf, paprika, cumin and salt. Cook together with the vegetables so that the peas become fragrant, about 2 minutes. After that, add the pork bone, cubed ham, stock and wine. Stir everything together and make room to add the potatoes; add the potatoes.

3. Bring the soup to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about an hour, checking it occasionally. When the potatoes are fork tender the soup is done. Discard the bone and bay leaf. You can either puree the soup or leave it as is. Serve and enjoy!


  1. Amazing recipe Eryka! Loved the fact that you added the yellow split peas.
    And by the way... Happy Birthday! (got the notification from fb) :)
    Best wishes from both of us!

    1. I do apologize for the delay but thank you so much for the birthday wish!
      I personally love the yellow split pea more than the green! Thank you!

  2. I've hd to fall in love with chicharos again. I only left Cuba 7 years ago and my memories of elementary school, junior high ,high school and university are permeated by the horrible sopa de chicharos or pure de chicharos that we ate in school. We used to call a plate of white rice,chicharos and a fried egg "The Three Musketeers" it was all we ate for many years if we were lucky. But one of my memorable meals in Cuba was an exquisite pure de chicharos made at a paladar in Santiago de Cuba, I remember it had cilantro in it (Cuban cilantro, the one with wider and longer leaves) and some cheese I think.

    You know what I like to add? crushed mariquitas (plantain chips) before I serve them

    I'm re-discovering it now that I make it "Como Dios manda ;)", like yours.

    1. Danysedai, first thank you for stopping by and commenting! Love the crushed mariquitas in the chicharros, I even like it crushed on top of ropa vieja or sopa de fideo!
      I hope you get around to making it and enjoy it as much as we do. Let us know if you do we love hearing from our fellow Cubans :-D