Split Pea Soup

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A classic split pea soup is a rich, creamy meal filled with veggies and chunks of ham!

This hearty soup is the perfect way to use up that frozen leftover ham bone. This is one of those dishes that is just as good (if not better) the next day and it freezes beautifully.

bowls of Split Pea Soup with bread

A Healthy Favorite

The humble pea soup has been around since 500 BC and has been a budget staple for generations. There are many versions of this soup including a Canadian Split Pea soup (most often made with yellow peas).

  • It has a creamy consistency and delicious flavor.
  • It’s made without cream so it has fewer calories than most creamy soups.
  • Uses simple ingredients you likely have on hand.
  • Is very budget-friendly.
  • This split pea recipe is a healthy source of fiber and protein (and it will really fill you up).


SPLIT PEAS Dried split peas are cheap and easy to find. While they resemble a lentil, they’re actually a type of dried pea. That being said, you can use dried lentils in this recipe (cooking time may need to be adjusted)!

VEGETABLES Celery, carrots, and a handful of seasonings will flavor the soup.

MEAT Use up that leftover ham.  No extra ham on hand? Use cooked and crumbled pieces of bacon for that smoky, salty punch of flavor.

BROTH In this recipe a ham bone flavors the broth just like in a ham bone soup. If you don’t have a ham bone you can use a ham hock (I cook ham hock for an hour before adding other ingredients).

If you have only diced or leftover ham (and no bone) swap out some of the water for extra broth.

adding broth to pot to make Split Pea Soup

Should I Soak Split Peas?

Split peas will almost always come from the store dried, so they need to be either simmered in liquid or soaked overnight before they can be enjoyed.

To soak your split peas place them in a bowl of water (or a ziplock of water)! They take about 4 hours to be soaked through, but I like to soak mine overnight before I use them in a recipe.

If you are cooking your split peas without soaking them first, they will take about 1-2 hours of simmering before they are ready to be eaten.

top view of Split Pea Soup in the pot

How to Make Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup takes a while to cook, but most of the time is hands off.

  1. Simmer peas, ham, water, broth, parsley, & bay leaf in a large pot for an hour.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (per recipe below) and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.
  3. Remove ham bone (or ham) & chop up meat. Return ham to the pot & cook on low until thickened.
  4. Discard bay leaf & serve.

What to Serve with Split Pea Soup

The best sides for split pea soup are lots of hot, hearty bread and a crisp, crunchy salad! Don’t forget chocolate banana cake or no-bake cheesecake for dessert!

Recipe Tips

  • Like dried beans, dried peas should be carefully sorted. Place them in a colander and rinse them in cold water. Oftentimes, sand or small pebbles are mixed in with the peas.
  • Thicken split pea soup by allowing it to simmer uncovered for a little bit. If you’re short on time, some of the peas can be mashed or blended.
  • Store cooked split pea soup in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Split pea soup can be frozen in zippered bags for up to 3 months. Be sure to label the bag with the current date!

pot full of Split Pea Soup

More Savory Soups

Did your family enjoy this Split Pea Soup? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

bowls of Split Pea Soup
4.82 from 49 votes
Review Recipe

Split Pea Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Split pea soup is the perfect way to use up your leftover ham! Split peas and ham are simmered in a delicious chicken broth to give you a thick and hearty soup option.


  • 2 cups *dried split peas green or yellow
  • 1 meaty ham bone or leftover ham
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • salt to taste

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  • Rinse peas and drain well.
  • In a large pot, combine peas, ham, water, broth, parsley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  • Add in celery, carrots, onion, pepper, thyme, and salt. Cover and simmer 45 minutes more.
  • Remove ham bone and chop meat. Return meat to soup and cook on low 20-30 minutes or until tender and thickened.
  • Discard bay leaf and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you are cooking your split peas without soaking them first, they will take about 1-2 hours of simmering before they are ready to be eaten.
To soak your split peas, add to a mixing bowl. Cover with water to at least 1" above beans. Split peas take about 4 hours to be soaked through, but I like to soak mine overnight before I use them in a recipe.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 365, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 900mg, Potassium: 1009mg, Fiber: 18g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 4211IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword ham and pea soup, how to make Split Pea Soup, split pea soup, Split Pea Soup recipe, Split Pea Soup with Ham Bone
Course Dinner, Entree, Ham, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
pot of Split Pea Soup with a spoon and writing
Split Pea Soup in the pot with writing
close up of Split Pea Soup bowls with a title
Split Pea Soup in the pot and bowls with writing

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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