Pea soup is one of my most-favorite soups to make — especially after the holidays when my freezer is stocked with cubes, slices, and chunks of discounted spiral hams!
Even if I’m not making the big meal for Christmas, I always buy one or 2 hams and cut up the meat to use in omelets, quiche, casseroles, sandwiches, and (of course) my delicious recipe for Split Pea Soup with Ham!
I also save the ham bones to use when making broth for soups (see my recipe below for instructions).
If you’ve never tried making pea soup before — thinking it was too difficult, nervous about the “gas” rumors you may have heard, or maybe just deterred by the unappetizing greenish color, I beg you to give it a try.
Split pea soup is one of my easiest soup recipes, requiring very few ingredients.
It’s also EXTREMELY frugal (especially if you go vegetarian and omit the ham).
Split peas themselves are low in fat and calories but high in fiber and flavor.
And… if you soak your peas overnight, you really shouldn’t have any issues with gas! 🙂
If you’ve been listening to all the hype about “gut health” you might be skeptical of the phytic acid in legumes (peas) — but again, soaking the peas overnight significantly reduces the amount of phytic acid and aids in the digestibility of the peas.
I’ll be honest, I don’t totally “buy-in” to all the angst about phytic acid — after all, some phytic acid is actually considered helpful in preventing cancer! (Here’s a really helpful article if you want to learn more about phytic acid — it tells BOTH sides of the story)
However, if this is a concern for you, just soak your peas overnight and you’re good to go!
Anyway, back to my Pea Soup recipe…
In my opinion, pea soup is a full meal in a bowl, requiring very few (if any) side dishes at all. I usually serve this soup with a slice of crusty whole-grain bread and a simple salad, maybe a little fruit too.
It’s such a delicious, hearty winter meal!
If I still haven’t convinced you, I want to point out that although our family does not have any food restrictions, this recipe is gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and could easily be vegetarian (even vegan) if you left out the ham!!
What are you waiting for?
Add this simple recipe for Pea Soup with Ham to your meal plan and give it a try!
- 1 bag (16 oz.) split green peas (about 2.5 cups dry)
- 8 c. cold water
- 8 c. additional cold water
- 1 ham bone (*optional -- see notes below)
- 2 medium potatoes; peeled and diced
- 2 small onions; minced
- 4 carrots; peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery; diced
- salt (optional -- to taste)
- extra ham if desired
- In a large stockpot, cover dried peas with 8 c. cold water and let sit for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
- About 2 hours before you want to eat, drain and rinse peas, then cover with another 8 c. of cold water (it is important to use fresh water.)
- Add ham bone and all other ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove ham bone, cut ham off the bone, add ham back to soup (and any additional ham you'd like to add).
- Stir, serve, and enjoy!
These are the ingredients I use -- however, you can certainly add more or less of the ingredients I've listed... or a whole slew of other soup-appropriate ingredients as you wish!
Also, if you don't have a ham bone, simply add in chunks of ham or cooked bacon instead -- or leave the meat out to make it vegetarian. The reason I boil the ham bone is to infuse some extra ham flavor into the soup, add extra vitamins and nutrients (bone broth), and so the meat will loosen from the bone.
Finally, regarding the peas themselves, you should not have to "smash" the peas -- they will be very soft after soaking and boiling so they should just naturally take on a pureed consistency after stirring.
Amount Per Serving Calories 121Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 21mgSodium 450mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 10g
Nutritional information is approximate and does not account for additional ingredients or added toppings.
This is one of those simple recipes that still requires a bit of planning ahead (to soak the peas) but other than the time spent soaking and simmering, there is very little hands-on time.
I promise… it’s worth it!
Are you a split pea soup fan? What are your favorite ways to use up extra ham?
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