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
4.85 from 59 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
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.)

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
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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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Holly,

    Love your recipes. I am making this soup as we speak. Smells delicious. Are the herb measurements for fresh or dried please? I will rate when it’s done.

    Thanks much! Cynthia

  2. I haven’t tried your recipe as I have been making
    Pea soup for years like my mom. Just wanted to add, we like ours smooth with
    Pieces of ham so at the end, I removed the bone and meat and use an immersion blender to cream the soup, then add the meat back in. Delicious this way too!

  3. I’m sorry, but this recipe for pea soup was disappointing. My soup came out watery and now I’ve got to use cornstarch to thicken. My suggestion would be to rethink the water usage.

    1. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this recipe Lydia. Readers love it as written but you can definitely thicken it with cornstarch or reduce your water to reach your desired consistency. You could also add in some potatoes and mash them slightly to thicken the soup as well. I hope that helps!

    2. Same – I ended up adding some lentils to try and thicken it some. I questioned adding the 2 cups of broth after the 8 cups of water. I should have listened to my instincts. It does smell delicious though, and I think it’ll be good. Adding some more diced ham after using the immersion blender to have some chunks in it.4 stars

      1. It’s not 8 cups of water, it says 6 cups of water, 2 cup broth. Read recipes carefully.

    3. I always use more peas for a thicker soup. I prefer thicker soup as well. I also use some salt meat or salt pork ribs. Cook separately, drain water and add to soup before serving. No extra salt is needed. I taste the broth before serving so I can add more salt water or fresh water for taste. We have been using this way for many generations. Also great the next day or to freeze for future quick meals. Adding some good bread or dough balls is another option.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. I have never tried split pea soup. That may change with your soup, because it looks so amazing, hearty and flavorful!5 stars

  10. 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