Split Pea Soup

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Split pea soup is the perfect way to use up your leftover ham! Split peas and ham are simmered in a delicious broth to give you a thick and hearty soup!

This belly warming soup lasts in the fridge for days and freezes perfectly!

split pea soup in white bowl

Well it’s Easter weekend, and between all of the cooking and family time, Easter is always pretty hectic.

My family loves having baked ham for Easter dinner along with Potatoes Au Gratin and of course Ambrosia Salad!

I always make a ham with a bone in it because it makes for the BEST soups after!!  This split pea soup recipe is the perfect way to use up your leftover ham, and all you have to do is simmer your soup to a flavorful perfection!

If you’d like, you can easily adapt into a Crock Pot split pea soup recipe, but I prefer making it on the stove top.

pot of split pea soup with silver spoon

The split peas in this recipe contain natural starch that will thicken this soup without needing to use corn starch, which I love. If you prefer your soup thinner, adding a little extra chicken broth should do the trick. If you like it even thicker, I have found that a pulse or two of the emulsifier will help thicken it even further!

Split pea soup freezes well, so you can make this on Easter Monday and not have to worry about cooking all week – split pea soup with ham for breakfast lunch and dinner anybody?!

bowl of split pea soup with ham

How To Make Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is actually surprisingly easier to make than you might think! My mom used to make ham and split pea soup all the time for us, and it was always our go-to after Easter or Thanksgiving!

My favorite part about this split pea and ham soup recipe is that you don’t need to worry about pre soaking the split peas before you add them, they will get all of the delicious ham and chicken flavors while they simmer in the broth. If you notice that your split peas have absorbed too much liquid, just add another splash of chicken broth to your soup!

Add your ingredients to your stock pot, except for the vegetables. You don’t want to overcook your veggies while the peas suck in all of the moisture. Simmer that deliciousness for about hour, and then add your vegetables to the split pea soup along with the thyme.

Remove the ham bone and chop up the meat – which should be easy now that the ham has simmered (yum) – and return it to the pot. Simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes and enjoy!

ham and split pea soup with silver spoon

How To Cook 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. 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, I have recently started using a Ziplock bag which I find to be way easier! A mixing bowl with water in it works just as well though if you prefer to soak them that way. Split peas take about 4 hours to be soaked through, but I like to soak mine overnight before I use them in a recipe.

This split pea soup recipe is perfect to serve alongside Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits for a warm and comforting meal.

4.77 from 34 votes
Review Recipe

Split Pea Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Soup
Cuisine American
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 yellow split peas
  • 1 meaty ham bone or leftover ham
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

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

Nutrition Information

Calories: 148, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 206mg, Potassium: 510mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2150IU, Vitamin C: 6.1mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1.9mg
Keyword ham, ham and pea soup, split pea soup

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Split Pea Soup served in a white bowl

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Split Pea Soup is the perfect way to use up leftover ham! Split peas and ham are simmered in a delicious broth to give you a thick and hearty soup! #spendwithpennies #soup #easyrecipe #ham #leftoverham #freezermeal #heartysoup

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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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  1. I did not have ham, so I used chunks of sopressata salami. I mashed the peas with a potato masher a little at the end to help thicken the soup. I added a few crackers and some provolone cheese in my bowl. Yum!5 stars

  2. So im not sure what split peas the author is using that she has to soak them or boil them several hours, cause run of the mill dried split peas will turn to mush after about an hour of simmering, no soak required. And a 5 to 1 liquid ratio is a bit much. 4 to 1 will get it nice and liquidy, and you still might want to drain some off depending on how thick you like it.3 stars

    1. Split peas do not require soaking although it will cut down on the cook time. Split peas are intended to become creamy to create the traditional base of this soup (different than perhaps cooking lentil soup which we only cook about an hour as they’re a legume vs. a pea).

      You can certainly cut back on the liquid if you’d like however we find this to be the perfect consistency for our liking.

  3. This tastes almost exactly like the split pea soup I remember my mom making for me when I was a child. I loved it then, and I love it now. Thank you for a delicious recipe! I will be making this all winter long.5 stars

  4. This looks perfect for a busy weeknight family dinner! I actually just bought split peas the other day, so can’t wait to make this. Your ham and bean soup looks delicious too!

  5. Gosh Split Pea soup takes me back to my Grandma’s kitchen and her slaving over a hot stovetop for hours. Yours looks so comforting and perfect for a cold January winter night! This with some homemade rolls … pure heaven!5 stars

  6. We frequently make ham for Sunday dinner so we always have leftover ham around and it is so great for soups. This recipe looks so comforting and sounds so tasty. Plus, I am loving the simplicity.5 stars

  7. So I’ve never made split pea soup. But I found myself with the Christmas ham bone and a bag of split peas. I followed the recipe almost as stated, but dumped it all in the crock pot since I was leaving. I used a 14.5 oz can of chicken broth, then dumped 4 cans of water in since I’m a lazy cook. I also added a tbsp of.minced garlic, set it on low for 7 hours and came home to an excellent soup! It was even kid approved! The consistency was good, but I am not sure how it should be since I’ve never cooked it before. I will definitely make this everytime i end up with the rest of the dinner ham. Thanks a bunch!5 stars

  8. The recipe looks good, but your explanation is confusing! You talk about not soaking the peas and then at the end have directions for soaking peas. Can you please clarify?

    1. You do not need to soak them but they will take 1-2 hours to cook. If you’d like to speed up the cook time, you can soak them (but it’s not required).

  9. Holly I thought I had thyme and bay leaves but after going through the pantry there was none. Will it still be ok without.5 stars

    1. Yes, it should be fine without. You can add other herbs/spices if you would like such as a small pinch of oregano or, just leave them out. Enjoy!

    1. I haven’t tried it with soaked peas however, they’ll need a bit less time to cook. I would simmer the ham bone and other ingredients (to flavor the broth) and add the soaked peas for about the last hour. Let us know how it goes for you!

  10. Good flavor, but if you don’t want your split pea soup watery, don’t add 10 total cups of liquid to 2 cups split peas. It ruined the soup for me.3 stars

    1. So sorry to hear that Patricia! You can definitely add in a little more peas or a little less liquid to get that thicker consistency.

    1. Catherine, I would suggest on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Peas do not need to be soaked overnight

  11. I’ve made a lot of soups in my days but for some reason I’ve never made split pea soup. This recipe was easy and delicious! We live our split pea soup a little thicker so next time I will add three cups of peas instead of two. LOVED IT!5 stars

  12. can this be made in a crockpot? if so what temperature and for how long?

    do the peas need to be soaked overnight?

    thank you5 stars

      1. thank you

        just one more question—can I use the frozen ham bone or thaw it first?
        (never made pea soup before–my dads’ side of the family were the cooks (Italian)

        1. You can use it frozen but that might add to the cook time so if you’re able, I’d suggest setting it in the fridge to defrost the night before.

  13. We had an early Christmas dinner so the soup is on the stove! Please clarify when to add the bay leaf and thyme. In the description you say to add the bay leaf with the vegetables but in the recipe instructions it says to add at the very beginning. Also, there is no mention when to add the thyme–or is that optional? It’s not a biggie but thought I’d ask. Looking forward to eating this!

  14. My husband went nuts over this soup. He said it was better than his mothers’ and she’s a southern cook! I used green split peas and a ham steak with the bone in. But that was the only differece. We were surprised that all the peas dissolved, and that it was soupy and not thick and lumpy. But it tasted wonderful, and is actually nicer smooth than with lumps. lol!5 stars

  15. This should work well in the Instant Pot. I have a soup recipe for split peas that calls for 12 minutes on soup setting.

  16. Love the passion and enthusiasm so much that I gave it a summer time shot! First, picked up a smoked pork shank and had it cut into 3 2″ pieces then after a rinse set it to simmer by itself in the chicken broth for about 30 minutes then followed the recipe except used green peas.

    Will enjoy with a glass of Big John from Newsome Harlow.

  17. Where I was a child, everytime when I got sick, my mom often cooked the soup with vegetable and chopped beef or pork. It reminds me of my mom a lot A food sticking with a good memory makes it more perfect. I’d love to make it soon.5 stars

  18. This looks delicious!  I can’t wait to try it.  I love pea soup, so will have to hunt down the yellow peas and try this.