This Chicken and Split Peas soup is perfect for cold weather or anytime you want a bit of comfort in a bowl. In the Caribbean we have soup anytime, no matter the weather. A member of a Guyanese Facebook group I follow, asked if anyone else had soup for dinner on Sundays while growing up in Guyana. The response was overwhelmingly “yes” and apparently soup on Sundays was/is a Guyanese culinary tradition. The similarities in the types of soup and the side dishes served with the soup were just heart warming. We have a strong food culture and it lives on in the traditions we have around food. I don’t reserve soup for Sundays. I have soup anytime I feel like it and this soup is a good base for many soup concoctions!

Make it your own:

You can make this soup exactly as written and it is delicious but you can also remix it by adding the following:

  • Add some dumplings. Dumplings give this soup a nice contrast of sweetness with every bite
  • Add some root veggies. Plantain (green or sweet) works really well here. As well as eddoes (malanga), cassava (yuca) and sweet potatoes
  • Add some veggies. A handful or two of spinach and some steamed okra/o adds so much flavor and makes this soup nutrient dense
  • Use bone in chicken. A cut up whole chicken is a great option for this soup!


Make it in the Instant Pot:

I love making soups in my instant pot. Just dump everything in and leave it! This chicken and split peas soup is perfect. When making the soup in the instant pot, you can choose to cut the potatoes in large chunks or diced. If diced, the potatoes will completely melt away while pressure cooking. I like it when some of the potatoes melt away and some stay intact. So I cut my potatoes in two or 4 pieces then at the very end, I crush some of the potatoes with the back of my pot spoon and mix them into the broth. This thickens the soup and makes it oh so velvety.

Doing a Whole30?

This soup is perfect for your Caribbean Whole30. A new rule makes yellow split peas Whole30 compatible, so feel free to enjoy this soup on round. Just pay attention to your bouillon cubes or just use Loisa Adobo.

The Printable Chicken and Split Peas Soup Recipe:

Chicken and Split Pea Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A thick split pea broth soup with chicken and veggies.
Cuisine: Guyanese
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup of yellow split peas, washed
  • About 2 tablespoons of oil for cooking, I use avocado oil
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 wiri wiri pepper (optional)
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 tablespoon of Loisa Adobo or more to taste
  • 3 quarts (about 12 cups) of water
  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved
To season the chicken
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt iodized sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  1. In a bowl combine the chicken, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, parsley flakes and black pepper and set aside
Stove Top Instructions:
  1. Then add a large stock pot to medium heat and bring up to temperature, then add the oil and let it come up to temperature
  2. Next add the onion and garlic and cook for about minutes, followed by the seasoned chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes
  3. Then add the washed split peas, celery, thyme, bouillon or Loisa Adobo and about 8 cups of water
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until the split peas are completely soft (this takes about 40 minutes to an hour) then add the potatoes, carrots and wiri wiri peppers (if using) and about 4 more cups of water
  5. Continue to cook until the potatoes are almost mushy, then use the back of your pot spoon to crush about ½ of the potatoes and mix into the soup to thicken the broth. This step is only needed if the potatoes don't dissolve into the both during cooking
Make it in the Instant Pot:
  1. Set your instant pot to the sauté option
  2. When the pot is hot add the oil and bring up to temperature the seasoned chicken (see step 1 above) and sauté for 5 minutes
  3. Then add the washed split peas, the thyme, celery, bouillon cubes or Loisa Adobo, sliced carrots and potatoes followed by 6 cups of water and mix together well
  4. Then take the instant pot out of sauté mode by hitting cancel, seal up the instant pot and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes
  5. After the pressure cycle completes, rapid release the pressure, then add the wiri wiri pepper (if using) so that they can steam
  6. Give your soup a good stir and it is ready to eat
If you want lots of heat in your soup, you can add the pepper at the beginning of the cooking process when you add the split peas and other ingredients.
I like to control my heat, so I just let my pepper steam, then I cut it open and mix it into my food while eating.




  1. Carmen June 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    My mother used to make a soup caLled metagy she told me it was a guayanese soup. it was made qith pig foot, salt fiah (i am not aure) casava, dumplings and coconut milk. I have been looking dor the rexipe for a long time but cannot find it. Will greatly appreciate if you can send e the recipe.

    Thank yoy so much

    1. Althea Brown July 13, 2018 at 4:17 am

      Hi I have a vegetarian recipe for metemgee or metagee on my site. Just use the search bar and it should come up. Metemgee the way I know it is vegetarian and then served with fried fish on the side but I guess you can add meat to the broth. Take a look and see if this is what you are looking for n

  2. Trish December 29, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Hello! Can we make this soup in the instant pot? If so, how would i do it? do you recommend using the soup function? I just got my instant pot and I am trying to learn!

    1. Althea Brown December 30, 2019 at 5:14 am

      You totally can. You would only need 6-8 cups of water total. I would start from step 3 in the recipe, then I would add the split peas and water. Mix everything together and cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes. When it’s done cooking, release the steam then stir up the soup and you should be good. I’ve never used my soup function on the IP so I’m not sure. I mostly just use the manual pressure function but you can also just try it to see how many minutes it’s set for.

  3. Pingback: Chicken Foot Soup - Metemgee

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