This classic split pea soup recipe is a family favorite!

It’s really easy to make with a bag of split peas, a handful of veggies, and ham simmered until tender and thick.

This soup is just as good (if not better) the next day and it freezes beautifully for future meals.

Split Pea Soup in a pot with a wooden spoon

A Family Favorite Soup

Pea soup is a recipe that has been a staple for generations.

  • It has a thick 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 and it’s budget-friendly.
  • It is full of fiber and protein, so it will really fill you up.
Labeled Split Pea Soup ingredients including broth, ham bone, celery, split peas, salt & pepper, parsley, carrots, onion, bay leaf, and thyme

Ingredients for Split Pea Soup

Split Peas – Dried split peas are inexpensive and easy to find. While they resemble a lentil, they’re actually a type of dried pea. You can use green or yellow split peas. Canadian Split Pea soup is most often made with yellow peas but green are a little bit sweeter.

Vegetables – A mirepoix is a mixture of onion, celery, and carrots and this is the base of flavor for this soup. Add a few cloves of chopped garlic if you’d like.

Ham – This soup is a great way to use a ham bone or leftover ham from a Sunday supper.  The ham bone adds extra flavor to the broth if you have one. If you don’t have a ham bone, replace some of the water for extra broth as you’ll need the boost of flavor.

Broth – A ham bone adds extra flavor to the broth just like in a ham bone soup. If you don’t have a ham bone you can use a ham hock which should be simmered for an hour before adding other ingredients.

Variations

  • To stretch this soup further, peel and dice two russet potatoes and add them along with the other vegetables.
  • Replace the ham with smoked turkey if you’d like.
Chopped onions, carrots, and celery on a cutting board.

Soaking Split Peas

Split peas are almost always purchased dried, so they need to be either simmered in liquid or soaked overnight.

Soaking is not required for this recipe but if you have already soaked the peas, the cooking time will be reduced by about 40 minutes.

If you’d like to soak the split peas, place them in a bowl of cool water and soak for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Split peas and a ham hock in a pot.

How to Make Split Pea Soup

The best split pea soup is thick, creamy, and flavorful. This version is a ham and pea soup and it’s easy to make, 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 the meat. Return ham to the pot & cook on low until thickened.
two bowls of split pea soup with a loaf of bread

Tips for The Best Ham & Split Pea Soup

  • Like dried beans, dried peas should be sorted to remove debris or pebbles. Place them in a colander and rinse them in cold water.
  • Split pea soup can be cooked in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.
  • Thicken split pea soup by allowing it to simmer uncovered for a little bit longer. If you’re short on time, some of the peas can be mashed or blended with an immersion blender.
  • Store cooked split pea soup in the refrigerator for up to 4 days for freeze for up to 3 months.

More Ham Soups

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

a pot of Split Pea Soup with a wooden spoon
4.97 from 131 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is the perfect way to use up leftover ham. Split peas and ham are simmered in a delicious broth to create a thick and hearty soup!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups dried split peas green or yellow (14 oz)
  • 1 meaty ham bone or 2 cups diced leftover ham
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water or additional broth if desired
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 ribs celery diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Sort through the peas to ensure there is no debris. Rinse 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 the meat. Return the meat to the soup and cook uncovered until thickened and the peas have broken down and the soup has thickened, about 20 minutes more.
  • Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and additional pepper to taste.

Video

Notes

  • This recipe does not require soaking the peas.
  • If desired, add 2 cloves of minced garlic along with the vegetables. 
  • The meaty ham bone and be replaced with diced or chopped leftover ham. Replace at least 2 cup sof the water with additional broth for flavor if you do not have a hambone.
  • Thicken split pea soup by allowing it to simmer uncovered for longer. 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 or freeze up to 3 months.
4.97 from 131 votes

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
Split Pea Soup in a pot with a spoon and a title
two bowls of Split Pea Soup with a title
bowls of Split Pea Soup with writing
Split Pea Soup in a pot and Split Pea Soup in bowls with a title

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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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Comments

  1. THIS SOUP IS AMAZING A FAMILY FAVORITE!! I MADE A DIFFERENT RECIPE BEFORE AND THE
    KIDS DID NOT LIKE IT. THEY LOVED THIS ONE!!!5 stars

  2. the best recipe and reminder of exactly how I want my thick soup to be!!
    and crusty bread for dunking and using as my spoon takes it right to the Italian table!!
    THANK YOU WooooHoooo ☮️5 stars

  3. Do you think this would still be good without celery? It’s the only ingredient I don’t currently have on hand. Thanks!

  4. This soup was delicious ! The only thing I changed was to add extra ham and to simmered the soup a few extra hours. The flavor was amazing. It is a very hearty and rich dish. My husband loved it!5 stars

  5. I made this it was so fricken beautiful love everything about it I keep this one thank you for this soup one my fav ones pea soup is one of mine it brings back me as a little one my grandmother would make this once she past away in 1980s she took that soup with her God bless her I have not found hers till I used a yellow pea I tell you I’m in love my dad tried he put salt in it it was horrible I want to say ty again5 stars

  6. this is a family favorite. I keep a ham bone in the freezer from Easter and it works beautifully. I always add a large white potato and use an immersion blender at the end. note that not only does this freeze well but I make a triple batch and pressure can it so its on the shelf for an easy dinner whenever we want it.5 stars