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Cuban Split Pea Soup recipe - Sopa de Chicharos Cubanos


Cuban split pea soup chicharos

This soup is great comfort food! Instead of ham, many Cubans use Spanish-style chorizo (but not the Mexican kind made with chile powder). The most popular brand of chorizo used for this soup is Lugareño, named after a small town in Camagüey, Cuba. A master sausage maker from Spain settled there in the 1920's, bringing family recipes with him. He eventually moved his family to Miami, where Lugareño remains the most popular chorizo. It's in Florida stores but also online at the Cuban Food Market.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes



6 cups of water
1 pound dried green split peas
1 lb ham or Spanish chorizo
1 large potato
5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Olive Oil



Rinse the split peas well, then drain and set aside. Dice the ham or chorizo into half-inch cubes. Wash, peel and dice the potato into one-inch cubes.


Add a splash of olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. As the oil heats, smash the garlic cloves or crush them using a garlic press. Add the garlic to oil, and stir gently for one minute.


Immediately add the ham or chorizo, diced potato, split peas, oregano and cumin. Add seven cups of water, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce cooking heat to low. Simmer uncovered and stir occasionally for about an hour, or until the peas and potatoes are the desired tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste.


You can reduce the cooking time by soaking the split peas overnight, and draining them just before use. Soaking the peas in advance will yield creamier soup. This recipe yields 4-6 servings.

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Directions on how to make an authentic traditional Cuban split pea soup.

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