Split Pea Soup – Spend With Pennies

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by Holly Nilsson

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04.04.2022


Any time of year is a great time for a cozy soup recipe.

A classic split pea soup with ham is one of our favorites and is easy to make. Green split peas are simmered with veggies and ham in broth until tender and thickened.

This hearty soup is the perfect way to use up that frozen leftover ham bone. This is one of those dishes that is just as good (if not better) the next day and it freezes beautifully.

a pot of split pea soup with a ladle

A Healthy Favorite

The humble pea soup has been around since 500 BC and has been a budget staple for generations. There are many versions of this soup including a Canadian Split Pea soup (most often made with yellow peas).

  • It has a creamy consistency and delicious flavor but it is made without cream so it has fewer calories than most creamy soups.
  • Uses simple ingredients you likely have on hand.
  • This split pea soup recipe is very budget-friendly.
  • It is a healthy source of fiber and protein (and it will really fill you up).

Labeled Split Pea Soup ingredients

Ingredients for Split Pea Soup

SPLIT PEAS Dried split peas are cheap and easy to find. While they resemble a lentil, they’re actually a type of dried pea. That being said, you can use dried lentils in this recipe (cooking time may need to be adjusted)!

I choose green split peas because they’re a bit sweeter but you can use yellow split peas if you’d like. The cooking time will remain the same.

VEGETABLES Celery, carrots, and a handful of seasonings will flavor the soup. Add a few cloves of garlic if desired. To stretch the soup even further, peel and dice two russet potatoes and add them along with the other vegetables.

MEAT Use up that leftover ham.  No extra ham on hand? Use cooked and crumbled pieces of bacon for that smoky, salty punch of flavor.

BROTH In this recipe a ham bone flavors the broth just like in a ham bone soup. If you don’t have a ham bone you can use ham hocks (I cook ham hock for an hour before adding other ingredients).

If you have only diced or leftover ham (and no bone) swap out some of the water for extra broth as the bone is used for flavor.

Chopped onions, carrots, and celery on a cutting board.

Should I Soak Split Peas?

Split peas will almost always come from the store dried, so they need to be either simmered in liquid or soaked overnight before they can be enjoyed.

Soaking is not required for this recipe but if you have already soaked the peas, the cooking time will be reduced by about 40 minutes. To soak your split peas place them in a bowl of water (or a ziplock of water)! They take about 4 hours to be soaked through.

Split peas and a ham hock in a pot.

How to Make Split Pea Soup

The best Split pea soup is one that’s thick, creamy and flavorful. This version is easy to make and while it takes a while to cook, most of the time is hands off.

  1. Simmer peas, ham, water, broth, parsley, & bay leaf in a large pot for an hour.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (per recipe below) and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.
  3. Remove ham bone (or ham) & chop up the meat. Return ham to the pot & cook on low until thickened.
  4. Discard bay leaf & serve.

two bowls of split pea soup with a loaf of bread

Serving Suggestions

The best sides for split pea soup are lots of hearty bread or crusty bread and a crisp, fresh salad!

Tip the soup with fresh herbs, a sprinkle of cheese, or a handful of garlic croutons.

Recipe Tips

  • Like dried beans, dried peas should be carefully sorted. Place them in a colander and rinse them in cold water. Oftentimes, sand or small pebbles are mixed in with the peas.
  • Thicken split pea soup by allowing it to simmer uncovered for a little bit. If you’re short on time, some of the peas can be mashed or blended with an immersion blender.
  • Store cooked split pea soup in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Reheat on the stove top over medium heat or in the microwave.
  • Leftovers can be frozen in zippered bags for up to 3 months.
  • Split pea soup can be cooked in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.

More Savory Soups

Did your family enjoy this Split Pea Soup? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is the perfect way to use up leftover ham. Split peas and ham are simmered in a delicious chicken broth to create a thick and hearty soup!


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  • Sort through the peas to ensure there is no debris. Rinse and drain well.

  • In a large pot, combine peas, ham, water, broth, parsley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 1 hour.

  • Add in celery, carrots, onion, pepper, thyme, and salt. Cover and simmer 45 minutes more.

  • Remove ham bone and chop meat. Return meat to soup and cook uncovered until thickened and the peas have broken down, about 20 minutes more.

  • Discard bay leaf and serve.

  • This recipe does not require soaking the peas.
  • If desired, add 2 cloves of minced garlic along with the vegetables. 
  • If you have only diced or leftover ham (and no bone) swap out some of the water for extra broth as the bone is used for flavor
  • Thicken split pea soup by allowing it to simmer uncovered for a little bit. If you’re short on time, some of the peas can be mashed or blended.
  • Store cooked split pea soup in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Split pea soup can be frozen in zippered bags for up to 3 months.

Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 365, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 900mg, Potassium: 1009mg, Fiber: 18g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 4211IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Dinner, Entree, Ham, Lunch, Main Course, Soup

Cuisine American

Recipe updated for improved flavor and consistency March, 2022.

Split Pea Soup being served with a ladle with a title
Split Pea Soup being served with a title
Top image - 2 bowls of split pea soup. Bottom image - split peas soup being served with a title





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