Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup Recipe

Experience the comfort of winter with our homemade Split Pea Soup, a heartwarming recipe that skillfully combines nutritious split peas, savory ham, and a medley of vegetables. This soul-nourishing dish is designed to envelop you in a sense of coziness, making it an ideal companion for chilly days.

As temperatures drop, this soup stands out as a wholesome creation, offering both flavor and nutrition. Its versatility shines through, providing an excellent platform for utilizing leftover Baked Ham from festive holiday gatherings. Even without a ham bone, our recipe welcomes inventive variations, allowing you to include diced ham for an equally satisfying experience.

The charm of this Split Pea Soup lies in its flexibility. For those leaning towards a vegetarian option, fear not – the essence of this dish remains intact, promising a fantastic taste that accommodates various dietary preferences. Celebrate the season with a bowl of this soul-warming soup, designed to bring you joy, one spoonful at a time.

Split Pea Soup

We really enjoy homemade chicken soups, especially the classic Chicken Tortilla Soup. I really like having a warm and filling bowl of soup on cold winter days, and this Split Pea Soup is perfect for that cozy comfort.

The Best Split Pea Soup Recipe:

In the story of my childhood, one bright memory is about my mom’s amazing Split Pea Soup, also known as Horohoviy Soup in Ukrainian. Imagine a cold winter’s day when, as a young doctor, I was wrapped up in the world of medicine. Little did I know that on this chilly day, my husband would take on a cooking challenge by asking my mom for a special soup recipe.

Coming home, exhausted from a day of doctor work, I was surprised with a warm bowl of homemade Split Pea Soup, showing off my husband’s newfound cooking skills (Yep, it turns out I married someone with hidden talents in the kitchen). More than just a soup, it felt like a time machine, taking me back to the comforting moments of my childhood.

This isn’t just any soup; it’s a mix of delicious flavors that not only warm the body but also bring back good feelings. Each spoonful reminds me of my mom’s love and my husband’s unexpected talent for cooking. It’s more than a meal; it’s a journey filled with memories, a tasty trip back to the days of innocence.

In that simple bowl of Split Pea Soup, I discovered more than just something to eat; I found a beautiful connection between the past and present, a way for different generations to share something special, and a reminder that the best memories often come with a dash of love.

“Within the warmth of a simple bowl of Split Pea Soup, generations converge, memories unfold, and love is seasoned into every spoonful – a timeless recipe for a heartwarming journey through the tapestry of family.”

Why this recipe is a must-try!

Simple – preparing this soup is a piece of cake! Just chop, cook, let it simmer, and enjoy.

Flavorful and satisfying – with the goodness of yellow split peas, ham, and veggies, it’s a delicious treat.

Healthy and filling – packed with veggies, chicken stock, and protein from peas and ham, it’s a complete meal in one bowl.

Perfect for leftovers – make it ahead, warm it up the next day, and believe me, it tastes even better!

Here’s a quick rundown of the key ingredients:

I thoroughly enjoy preparing this soup using yellow split peas. The rich flavor and vibrant golden color stand out from green split peas, especially when creating an eye-catching meal for my kids!

Olive Oil: Perfect for sautéing vegetables, and you can also opt for butter.

Water and Chicken Stock: The foundation of this hearty soup.

Ham: Whether diced or leftovers from Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, it adds a savory touch. If using a ham bone, remove it after cooking, and the tender meat easily goes back into the soup.

Split Peas: I prefer dry, golden split peas for their sweet flavor and visual appeal. No need for lengthy soaking; they soften beautifully, creating a creamy texture. Green split peas work, too, if that’s what you have.

Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, celery, and yellow onion contribute to the thick and flavorful base.

Taste and Seasonings – garlic, bay leaves, fresh dill or parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Split Pea Soup

Alternate Versions

Ham Hock Bone – Don’t toss those leftover ham bones from holiday meals! Instead, drop the ham hock into your pot with the split peas. While it cooks, your soup gets an extra boost of flavor, and the meat becomes tender and blends right in.

Diced Ham – Cook two cups of diced ham in olive oil. Take it out while you cook the veggies, then put the ham back in when you’re cooking the split peas.

Pork Riblets – Treat your taste buds by simmering pork riblets right alongside your split peas, just the way my mom does it.

Bacon – Start by crisping up some bacon; once done, set it aside. Then, sauté your veggies in the flavorful bacon fat for an extra boost of deliciousness.

Bouillon Cubes – Opt for a tasty twist by swapping traditional chicken stock with a mix of chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes (or the upgraded better-than-bouillon) dissolved in water.

Green Split Peas – If you like green split peas or can’t find yellow ones, they’ll work, too

What are split peas?

Split peas are dried peas that have been, as the name suggests, split in half. They come in green and yellow varieties and are commonly used in soups and stews due to their hearty texture and rich flavor. The split peas are peeled halves, and when you cook them, they turn wonderfully tender, creating a smooth texture. They’re low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and packed with various vitamins and minerals. That’s why they’re fantastic for adding to soups, stews, salads, and even curries!

Pro Tip:

I experimented with soaking peas overnight to quicken the cooking, but, alas, no time-saving magic happened. Just give them a good rinse, clear away any debris, and drain before tossing them into the pot.

How to Make Split Pea Soup with Ham

Saute: Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté ham (or ham hock) until golden brown; set aside. Add more olive oil and cook chopped onion and celery until soft (around 5 minutes).

Combine: Pour in stock, water, and rinsed peas.Return the ham to the pot.Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, and discard.

Flavor and Cook: Season with thyme, bay leaves, and salt.Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the peas are nearly dissolved.If a ham hock is in play, take out the bone, shred the meat, and put it back in the pot.

Add Vegetables: Toss in chopped carrots and potatoes; cook for another 20 minutes until veggies are fork-tender.

Season and Serve: Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems. Press in garlic, add dill or parsley and turn off the heat. Garnish with crunchy bacon and an extra sprinkle of fragrant herbs before serving.

Split Pea Soup

Pro Tip:

Enhance your soup effortlessly by tossing whole thyme sprigs into the pot; no chopping is required. The leaves will gracefully detach from the stems, making removal a breeze. And, when your peas and ham reach a boil, gracefully skim off and bid farewell to the foam for a soup that looks as clean as it tastes.

Quick Topping Ideas for Split Pea Soup:

Crispy Bacon: Add a crunchy twist.

Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle with parsley or dill for a burst of freshness.

Sour Cream: A dollop for creaminess.

Grated Cheese: Try cheddar or Parmesan for added richness.

Chopped Green Onions: A flavorful and colorful touch.

Croutons: For a satisfying crunch.

Splash of Lemon Juice: Brighten up the flavors.

Red Pepper Flakes: Add a touch of spiciness.

Greek Yogurt: Opt for a healthier sour cream alternative.

Toasted Nuts or Seeds: Pecans, almonds, or sunflower seeds provide a delightful crunch.

Common Questions

Q: How to Make Split Pea Soup in a Crockpot

A: Toss all your ingredients into the slow cooker, but use less water (half of the usual amount). Let it cook gently on low heat for 7 hours. Before serving, make sure to shred any meat and adjust the seasoning. That’s it—time to enjoy your delicious creation!

Q: Can I use green split peas instead of yellow ones in the recipe?

A: Absolutely! While the recipe favors yellow split peas, green ones work just as well.

Q: Can I freeze split pea soup?

A: Yes, it freezes well. Store in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.

Q: Can I make split pea soup vegetarian?

A: Absolutely! Skip the ham bone and use vegetable stock for a tasty, meatless version.

Q: Why add thyme sprigs whole to the pot?

A: Adding thyme sprigs whole allows the leaves to fall off during cooking, making them easy to remove later.

Q: Can I use the slow cooker for the split pea soup?

A: Yes, the slow cooker method involves combining all ingredients, reducing water, and cooking on low heat for 7 hours.

Q: What are some optional toppings for split pea soup?

A: Toppings can include crispy bacon, fresh herbs, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onions, croutons, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, Greek yogurt, or toasted nuts/seeds.

Q: How do I make Split Pea Soup thicker?

A: Remember not to over-thicken the soup initially, as it tends to thicken more in the fridge. However, for a heartier texture, consider adding more split peas. Another trick is to simmer it uncovered for an additional 20-30 minutes, letting some of the excess liquid evaporate during the split pea cooking process.

Q: Is Split Pea Soup considered a healthy option?

A:Split peas pack a nutritional punch, delivering protein, dietary fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals. The blend of split peas and assorted veggies in this soup not only provides protein and fiber but also essential nutrients for a wholesome meal.

What to Serve With Split Pea Soup

While Split Pea Soup stands as a hearty meal, its versatile nature harmonizes with:

Bread: Choose from Crusty French Bread, soft Dinner Rolls, or fluffy Biscuits, perfect for dipping into your soup bowl.

Salad: Pair your hearty soup with a light side salad—try a Garden Salad or a classic Caesar for a refreshing contrast.

Roasted Vegetables: Elevate your veggie intake by pairing the soup with Roasted Vegetables, offering a delightful and nutritious addition to your meal.

Split Pea Soup


The flavors of Split Pea Soup blend even better the next day, enhancing its delicious taste. Ensure your soup cools to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Pro tip: Pour it into shallow containers for speedier cooling.

Refrigerating: For refrigeration, transfer the cooled soup into airtight containers and store it for up to 4 days.

Freezing: Opt for freezer-safe containers or sturdy Ziploc bags, leaving room at the top for expansion. If using bags, store them flat for easy storage and quick thawing.

Reheating: thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and warm it up either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup Recipe

Ham and PeaSoup is a healthy mix of sweet golden peas, savory ham, and veggies, resultingin a rich and tasty dish perfect for chilly winter days.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 266 kcal


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 cups diced ham or ham hock 10 oz
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow dry split peas rinsed and pickled over (11-12 oz)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 medium Yukon or red potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced into half rings
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt divided, added to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill or parsley finely chopped


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add diced ham and sauté until golden brown. Set aside on a separate plate.
  • Include an additional tablespoon of olive oil and cook chopped onion and celery until they become tender (approximately 5 minutes). Pour in chicken stock, water, and drained peas. Return the ham to the pot. Bring it to a boil and remove any foam that rises to the top.
  • Add thyme, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to simmer, partially cover, and let it simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the peas almost dissolve. If there's a ham hock, take out the bone, shred the meat, and put it back in the pot.
  • Add carrots and potatoes, and cook for an extra 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Take out and throw away the bay leaves and thyme stems.
  • Squeeze in the garlic, throw in some dill or parsley, and turn off the heat. Serve the soup topped with crunchy bacon and extra fresh herbs for a tasty final touch.
Keyword Split Pea Soup, Split Pea Soup Recipe

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