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.


  • 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
4.96 from 115 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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



  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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.
4.96 from 115 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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Recipe Rating


  1. Turned out great for a cold winter night. Went 50/50 water and chicken broth—next time might even use more broth. Didn’t have a ham hock but used a large ham steak from Sam’s. Cut up the ham steak before cooking so I didn’t have to cut it hot—worked out great!5 stars

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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

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

  11. 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