Split Pea Soup With Ham

posted by Andrea | 01/14/2020

split pea soup with ham

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.

Split peas are also an excellent source of protein, zinc, iron, and phosphorous

And… if you soak your peas overnight, you really shouldn’t have any issues with gas! 🙂

mason jar filled with split peas

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! 

dried split peas

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! 

hearty pea soup with ham

Yield: 6-8

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Split Pea Soup with Ham

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! 

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 this winter!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 45 minutes


  • 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


  1. In a large stockpot, cover dried peas with 8 c. cold water and let sit for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
  2. 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.)
  3. Add ham bone and all other ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove ham bone, cut ham off the bone, add ham back to soup (and any additional ham you'd like to add).
  5. 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.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


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.

ingredients for split pea soup

peas soaking in stock pot

ham bone and peas, ready to make pea soup

simmering ingredients for split pea soup

cutting the ham off the bone

cutting the ham off the bone

delicious pea soup

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?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family-friendly recipes!

split pea soup

Filed under: FoodHoliday FoodsFeatured RecipesSoup

Leave a comment


  1. Trish


    Cooked all day in the crockpot- smells great but peas are still hard. Darn… will try again…


    Andrea Reply:

    hmmm… did you soak them first?

    I’ve never made this soup in a slow cooker before so I’m not sure what advice to give you — sorry!


  2. Allison


    Hi Andrea –

    Thanks for this post. Pea soup is my all time favorite soup. (BTW – have never found it gassy) I’ve tried making it in the past but it was always thin and watery and very disappointing. Your soup looks delicious – I love the “lumpiness” (totally meant in a good way. soup but with some chew to it.) of it. I’m going to have to try it again. Crossing my fingers.
    I keep going back to look at the pic – that really is my kind of pea soup. YUM


    Andrea Reply:

    Allison, IF your soup seems watery, just let it simmer with the lid off — the extra water will evaporate and it will be nice and thick!


  3. Barb Vanderveen


    I use peas from Wallmart called Hurst’s Ham Peas .Easy and really good!! It has a little packet of seasoning in it.


  4. Claire


    Andrea…I have my ham bone in the freezer ready to go. I love home made pea soup. This is pretty much my recipe too. Thanks for posting.


    Andrea Reply:

    it definitely doesn’t LOOK super appetizing, but it sure tastes yummy!


  5. Barri


    Andrea, I’ve been making split pea soup for years and the base is always the same. I have always added potatoes to mine and yours is the only other recipe using potatoes. The potatoes add so much flavor. Thanks for the recipe.


    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — this is how my parents make their pea soup, and yes, the potatoes definitely add a lot of flavor!


  6. Allison


    Hi Andrea –
    Love your blog!
    I love pea soup, it’s my fave! But everytime I make it it’s watery and not thick. Yours looks thick, is it? If so, how did you get it thick? Did you or have you ever used a stick emulsifier or blender on part of the soup? What do you think of that, as a way to thicken the soup.
    Thanks for the help,


    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Allison!
    my soup is quite thick (in fact, I usually add more water when I reheat it as leftovers to thin it down a bit).
    I do NOT use any sort of blender.
    I’d just try adding less water to start with and really letting the peas cook down (then when you stir it, the peas basically turn to mush and thicken the soup.) Also, try not adding any salt until the very end. Sometimes salt will prevent the peas from absorbing moisture, so your soup will be runnier and your peas won’t fully cook down.
    Hope this helps!


  7. Melinda


    Hi Andrea,

    I have been following your blog for a while now.
    Thank you for this recipe – it was my inspiration for today’s dinner, made with lentils, instead of peas. It was delicious.

    Keep up the good work
    Greetings from Hungary



    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Melinda! so glad to be your “inspiration” today! Hope your soup was delicious!


  8. Linda Bolt


    Made this today; perfect for a cold day. I had all the ingredients in the house, and used up the last of the Christmas ham from the freezer. Dinner smells good!


    Andrea Reply:

    hope you love it… and glad that it at least smells good 🙂


  9. Kaitlin @ The Mom on Purpose


    I’ve honestly never tried split pea soup, but this recipe sounds so good! It’s going on my meal plan for next week!

    Thanks for sharing!


    Andrea Reply:

    Try it! I think (hope) you’ll love it!


  10. Melissa


    Yum! Split pea is one of my favorites but other people always give me weird looks. I should make sure to buy the ingredients before our next snow day.


    Andrea Reply:

    I know, it sounds weird (and doesn’t really look super appetizing) but it sure tastes and smells delicious!


  11. Ann


    My crock pot may be a little slow but I find that if I do it in the crock pot it takes a good 8+ hours.
    Also some key ingredients for me to make the flavor stand out are cracked black pepper, marjoram, bay leaves while cooking, and this time I tried a bit of garlic salt, and celery seed.


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I’ve seen lots of recipes that call for Marjoram and Celery Seed. I’m sure I’ve tried it that way before and I’m sure it was also delicious 🙂


  12. MrsD


    Yum!! This sounds so good….especially on these snowy days 🙂