This Split Pea Soup From Sesame Street Actress Sonia Manzano Is Perfect For Chilly Nights

When the nights start getting cooler, dinner can become a dilemma. Sandwiches and cold cereal aren’t going to cut it anymore, but don’t think that you’re destined to serve dino nuggets in the air fryer forever, either. When you need something to serve up to your kids — and fast — soup is a no-fuss, no-fail meal. And Sonia Manzano (who played Maria on the award-winning children’s television series Sesame Street) has an amazing split pea soup recipe that your kids will devour.

But if you thought that you’ll always find Sonia in the kitchen, think again. “First of all, let me confess that I hate to cook. That’s why making soup is so appealing to me,” she admits. “Once it’s done you just heat it up whenever you want it.” Sonia’s recipe for split pea soup (which also works well with lentils) is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, so much so that she gave it to her daughter Gabi when she went to college. Says Sonia: “I sent my daughter off to college with this recipe. I advised her to make it on Sunday nights, so she’d have something to eat during the week when she was too tired, or lazy to cook.”

For those nights when you’re tuckered out from taking care of your tots, tweens, or teens, this soup comes together quickly — and tastes even better the next day. “While you’re cooking the soup, curl up with your kid and read any version of Stone Soup — or better yet, one of my books!” says Sonia.

Sonia Manzano's Split Pea Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine American


  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small ham hock
  • 1 lb. dry split peas
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  • In a medium-sized stock pot, heat olive oil.
  • Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.
  • Brown cooked ham hock in onion/garlic mixture.
  • Rinse split peas and add to pot.
  • Fill pot with enough water to cover ingredients.
  • Add bouillon cubes and stir.
  • Bring to a boil, then add diced carrots and celery.
  • Stir occasionally, adding extra water if necessary.
  • When peas are tender, turn off heat, and pour soup into bowls.
  • Garnish with red pepper or dollop of sour cream.
Keyword soup
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