This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my disclosure policy.

Split Pea Soup with ham is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. Full of vegetables, flavored with ham and cooked to perfection, you and your family are going to LOVE this soup.

Soups are one of the most comforting food, especially on chilly nights! Try Broccoli Cheese, Zuppa Toscana or my Winning Cheeseburger soup when you want to come home to something warm and delicious.

Homemade Split pea soup with ham in a bowl.

Split Pea Soup with Ham Bone

Split Pea Soup flavored with ham is just like the one you grew up on. Full of vegetables and tender split peas this soup is easy to make and even better to eat. It is  hearty and soul warming. Split pea soup is one of those feel good soups that’s also good for you. Don’t let the color of this incredibly delicious soup throw you. Its vibrant color just means it tastes good and is healthy too. The aroma is unbelievable and the flavor will keep you coming back bowl after bowl.

Split pea soup is one my go to favorites after I’ve cooked a ham and have leftovers. It’s the perfect way to use the hambone and not let it go to waste. It gives the pea soup just enough of that salty smoky flavor that makes this soup irresistible. The ham also gives it an extra punch of protein and will help satisfy your hunger.  Another plus to this recipe is the fact that split peas are so cheap. So if you use leftover ham, it’s quite a low cost hearty dish. Serve it with a side of rolls and a nice green salad and you’ve got a meal that’s sure to delight!

Ingredients For Pea Soup

Hearty and wholesome, this soup is chock full of good for you ingredients. Herbs and spices give that extra umph and flavor. If you don’t have a leftover ham bone you can use, ask the butcher for one at your local grocery store. You can also leave out the ham bone and just add ham. It won’t be quite as flavorful but still amazing.

  • Butter: For sautéing the vegetables.
  • Onion: A classic ingredient for most soups.
  • Carrots: Dice into bite sized pieces.
  • Celery: Add incredible flavor to the stock.
  • Garlic: Gives the split pea soup a nice flavor.
  • Dried Split Peas: These can be found with other dried beans at your local store.
  • Chicken Broth: Flavor and the base of the soup.
  • Ham bone: If you don’t have one on hand, see if you can get one from your local butcher.
  • Salt and pepper: Add more or less to taste.
  • Fresh Thyme: Fresh gives a nice light flavor. You can use dry, just use 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Chopped Ham: This is optional, but you’re going to love the extra flavor it gives.

How to Make Split Pea Soup

Like most soups this Split pea soup is pretty hands off once you sauté the vegetables. The longer you can let it simmer the more the flavors will meld together. Whip this up with plenty of time to make some biscuits to go with it.

  1. Sauté: In a large pot over medium high heat ad the butter and let it melt. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté until tender
  2. Add: Pour in the split peas and chicken broth. Next carefully place in the hambone.
  3. Simmer:  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 60-90 minutes stirring occasionally. Cook until the peas split and soup has thickened.
  4. Shred: Remove the hambone and shred the ham. Add it back to the soup. Add salt and pepper and thyme. Garnish with additional ham if needed.

Sauteing vegetables, cooking the ham bone and stirring in ham for spit pea soup.

What are Split Peas?

  • What are they? Split peas are field peas that are dried, peeled and split in half for easy cooking. They come in both green and yellow varieties, which can be fun to add both to the soup. The yellow ones tend to be more mild in flavor and the green split peas are sweeter. That’s why they pair so perfectly with the salty ham. As they cook they will thicken and create a wonderful creamy texture, perfect for soup.
  • Do you need to Soak Them? Split peas are small so they don’t need to be soaked. The long cooking time for the soup is more than enough to give these split peas the soft texture you want.  Just give the split peas a nice rinse before adding them to the soup. Since you don’t have to soak the peas, it saves you time in the beginning. The long cooking time also allows the flavors to meld beautifully together and they will cook down and thicken to a perfect texture.
  • Are they Nutritious? Split peas are definitely good for you. They are low in fat, high in fiber and protein, and are a great source of vitamins and minerals including magnesium.

Tips and Variations for Pea Soup

  • Add Vegetables: This is a hearty soup already, but you can even more depth to it by adding in a few red or yellow potatoes with the diced carrots.
  • Thicken: When cooking the peas should break down and thicken on their own, if you feel you want it thicker, simmer uncovered for the last 20-30 minutes. Do note that the soup will thicken as it rests and cools. You might actually need to thin it out with water the next day.
  • No Ham Bone: If you don’t have a ham bone don’t worry. You can still get that great flavor from thick chunks of sliced ham. Throw them in with the stock and allow it to simmer along with the rest.  Add bacon at the end for garnish and even more flavor if you desire.

Storing Leftover Soup

If you have any leftovers, which are always better the next day, they can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep it tightly sealed, and remember it will thicken as it sits. Add broth or water to thin it as needed. Reheat on the stove top on medium low or microwave individual portions.

Can I Freeze It?

Yes, this soup will freeze well! First let the soup completely cool and place in airtight containers or freezer safe ziplock bags. This will keep in the freezer for up 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat the next day.

Ladling split pea soup out of stock pot.

More Soups to Love!

Soup is so good and such an easy way to make dinner. They can be super healthy, super comforting, and always super yummy! There’s nothing quite like a nice warm bowl of goodness to cheer you up on a chilly night after a hard day. Soups are relatively easy too. You can throw everything in a pot and let it simmer away till you’re ready to eat. Soup is easy to change and adapt as well. If you don’t have a certain ingredient it can usually be substituted for another, depending on what it is. Soup is just so delicious, try some of these tried and true scrumptious soups tonight!

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Split Pea Soup

5 from 6 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Split Pea Soup with ham is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. Full of vegetables, flavored with ham and cooked to perfection, you and your family are going to LOVE this soup.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8 People



  • In a large pot over medium high heat add the butter and let it melt. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until tender.
  • Add in the split peas and chicken broth. Add in the ham bone. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 60-90 minutes stirring occasionally. Cook until the peas split and the soup has thickened.
  • Remove the ham bone and shred the ham. Add it back to the soup. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Garnish with additional ham if needed.


Calories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 18gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1030mgPotassium: 808mgFiber: 15gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 4705IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, main dish, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

More Ideas

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


    1. Hello! I haven’t tried that with this specific recipe before but I think it would do fine in the slow cooker.

      1. Wondering is this would do well keeping warm in a crockpot? Or will the starches cause it to dry up?

  1. Do you really cook this uncovered? You state it twice in the instructions (which is unusual for soups), but then later when talking about thickening you say to have a thicker soup to cook uncovered for the last 25-30 minutes.
    Any new cooks would be confused by this. I have been cooking for 40+ years, so I would cook the soups covered.

  2. 5 stars
    I have never liked split pea soup, but my husband and son love it so I always end up making it at least once a winter for them. I stumbled upon this recipe and would you know – I even ate a bowl and enjoyed it. I didn’t have any thyme on hand, so I used a bay leaf instead. This was fantastic – I’ll be pinning this so I can make it again, and not have to wonder if it will turn out again. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Do you think Lentils would work for this recipe. Some in my family don’t like peas in general. Was just wondering if anyone would know.

    1. That would be a great substitute. Let me know how you changed and what you did different!

  4. 5 stars
    i can’t find yellow split peas any where (anymore). They make a pretty soup, ’cause you can easily see the carrots, etc. floating around, & I like the little bit of a milder flavor. Yours looks amazing! I only make pea soup when I have a ham bone left, but I always make sure it still has a good amt. of meat attached to it. Good old fashioned winter comfort food. Your recipe is perfect 🍽

  5. 5 stars
    This soup reminds me of the Split Pea (or lentil) Soup that my Mom used to make. Though she never had a recipe for it & our whole family loved it. I did manage to make her Lentil soup once by asking her how she made it & it did turn out great. But, I forgot to write down the ingredients and directions. I do remember her putting the carrots & potatoes in it like you state in the variations. I can’t wait to try making this. It will bring back many fond memories of my Mom. So, thank you.

  6. If you don’t have a ham bone and want to use the pre-packaged chopped ham, when would you put the ham in the soup?

    1. Towards the end of the soup would be best depending on how thick the ham is. It is nice to have it sit in the soup and soak in the flavor but you also do not want it to be too soft and mushy.