Split Pea Soup

Quick Summary

Loaded with nutritious veggies and bright color, this Split Pea Soup is a classic that’s perfect for chilly days and weeknights that call for comfort food! It is also a great recipe to use up leftover ham!

Split Pea Soup in a bowl

Let’s talk soup! It is one of my favorite things to make during the cold months. I love a good one pot meal that is hearty, comforting, and nourishing.

This homemade Split Pea Soup is filled with tender vegetables, robust herbs and spices, and it’s flavored with savory ham. This is one of Josh’s all-time favorite soup recipes and we make it whenever we have leftover ham.

It is usually our go to meal after the holidays when we are tired from cooking and need a good, easy meal. It’s the best recipe for using up leftover ham.

Split Pea Soup in pot

Split Peas

Split peas are dried peas that are high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They have a slight sweet flavor and creamy texture that makes perfect for soup. You can find split peas in most grocery stores by the dried beans. We use green split peas for this soup recipe.

You don’t have to soak the split peas to make this soup. Sure, soaking will help them cook faster, but it isn’t necessary. You want the soup to simmer for awhile so the flavors can develop.

This soup simmers for 60 minutes, which gives the peas plenty of time to cook to tender perfection. If you do soak the peas before cooking, you can reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes.

How to Make Split Pea Soup

  • For this recipe, you will need a leftover ham bone, which makes this the perfect soup for after Easter or Christmas. Save that ham bone from your holiday ham! If you don’t have a leftover ham bone, you can still make the soup. Just buy ham hocks from the grocery store. If you aren’t sure where to find them, just ask the employee at the meat counter, they can help you. The ham bone or hocks give the soup so much flavor!
  • If you want to make this soup vegetarian, you can leave out the ham and use vegetable broth, but it really gives the soup a lot of flavor.
  • You start with onion, celery, and garlic, like most soups. The soup is also seasoned with bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, chicken broth, and the ham bone or hocks.
  • After you add the split peas, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 60 minutes, or until the peas are tender. You can stir it occasionally, but it should be fine. Go watch your favorite show or read a book:)
  • When the peas are soft, remove the ham bone or hocks and stir in the carrots. You can also stir in cooked ham to thicken the soup. This is optional, but it will add lots of flavor. Josh always adds ham, especially when we have ham to use up! It’s perfect!
  • Cook for an additional 20 minutes so the carrots and soup can thicken up. The soup will thicken even more as it cools and sits, especially the next day. If the soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more broth.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Side Suggestions

This soup would be absolutely delicious paired with any of the following:

How to Store

Any leftovers can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days. The soup will be thicker the longer it sits. You can add a little water or broth when you reheat it to think it out, if necessary.

You can also freeze this soup for up to three months. Make sure the soup is completely cool and pour into a freezer container, leaving about an inch at the top because the soup will expand as it freezes. Defrost, reheat, and enjoy!

split pea soup with ham

More Soup Recipes

Split Pea Soup

Loaded with nutritious veggies and bright color, this Split Pea Soup is a classic that’s perfect for chilly days and weeknights that call for comfort food! It is also a great recipe to use up leftover ham!
4.88 from 8 votes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 8 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 16 ounces dried green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 ham hocks (can use leftover ham bone from cooked ham)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped cooked ham, optional
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, optional


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, vegetable broth, peas, and ham hocks. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot with a lid and let the soup simmer for 60 minutes, or until the peas are tender.
  • Remove the ham hocks and stir in the carrots and cooked ham, if using. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the soup thickens and carrots are soft.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.


Calories: 476kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 978mg, Potassium: 1350mg, Fiber: 20g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 3510IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 5mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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Photos by Dishing Out Health

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Just made this ! The soup was wonderful!! I am such a soup person and this recipe will definitely be in my rotation. I’m not even a big meat eater and I enjoyed it. I made it for my husband who gets tired of my vegetarian soups. He was so delighted to have this for dinner. It was easy to throw together too.

  2. 5 stars
    Wonderful! Easy to throw together, good flavor, and a great way to get hubby to eat his vegetables! I could have eaten without the Ham bone but it sure was yummy with it! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  3. 5 stars
    Fantastic.!!!. Family loved it… Just the right consistency.. Used Chicken Better Than Bouillon for broth.. just a pinch of rosemary, as my family is not crazy about rosemary… followed recipe as directed.. Thanks

  4. I you buy fresh Ham Hocks from the grocery store, should you cook them before putting in the soup?

  5. 4 stars
    I made this tonight and followed the directions without substitutions. It does come together very easily and I will probably make it again in the future. I think next time, however, I’ll make it without the ham hock and just add the ham in the end as directed. The flavor for me was very over powering, probably because I have not cooked with them in the past and bought one from the store because we didn’t have any leftover ham.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve never used ham hocks before. After cooking this soup, should I strip the meat off or do I throw it away?

  7. 5 stars
    I made this tonight with cornbread. This is an awesome recipe and a new staple in our house. DELICIOUS! I will post a picture on Instagram. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  8. I would love to try this soup, but can you tell me if I can cook this soup in a slow cooker (i.e. crock pot)? Thank you.