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Split Pea Soup with Ham

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Looking to use up that leftover ham? Let’s make one of my favorite soups, Split Pea Soup with Ham. There’s nothing better than chasing away the chill of the day with a frugal and tasty soup!

Thick creamy split peas cooked with aromatic onions, celery, and carrots, and smokey ham make this soup an old-fashioned favorite!

Split pea and ham soup recipe.

One of the BEST things about cooking with dried peas or beans is the ABSOLUTE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK you get with them. They’re FULL of protein, about 12 grams to the quarter cup and they cost under 2 bucks a POUND. And you can get them MUCH cheaper when you buy in bulk. Also? They keep for a long time on the shelf.

Do you need to soak split peas?

I love Split Peas particularly because they are SO fast to make. Most dried beans take a long soak and a long cook time to soften up but peas are much quicker. You can rinse, pick them over, and cook right away, no soaking necessary. And in an hour or two you’ll have soft peas for soup!

How to pick over or clean dried peas and beans

This isn’t a hard job. To pick over or clean beans just means to swirl them in water in the dutch oven you plan to use to wash them, then rinse them off. If the water is dirty when you rinse it, rinse them until it runs off clean.

You’re halfway done at that point, next you just need to pick them over to get rid of any possible rocks, dirt, or funky looking peas or beans. Runs them through your hands in big handfulls looking for things that don’t belong. Just pick them out and toss them.

If you find a dirt clod you might need to rinse again just to get the dirt off if it broke apart. Once you’ve rinsed and picked the peas over you’re ready to cook them.

Ingredients for split pea soup.

Ingredients for Split Pea Soup with Ham

Split Pea Soup ingredients can definitely vary from recipe to recipe, and even in my house, it varies from time to time. It really depends on what I have on hand.

I may skip the carrots and celery if I don’t have them. Or I’ll use homemade broth. Sometimes I have a ham bone sometimes just leftover sliced ham. And sometimes I have and use both.

  • 1 pound dried split peas, or 2 cups
  • 3 quarts water, plus more if you like a thin soup
  • chicken broth
  • chopped onion, celery, carrot
  • Italian Seasonings-use more or less to taste
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste, you will add this in the last 30 minutes of cooking so you can safely taste it and add as needed
  • heavy dutch oven or other soup pot
Adding ingredients to split pea and ham soup.

How to thicken split pea soup

You don’t have to worry about how to make split pea soup thick. It will thicken up as the peas break down. In fact, what you might find is that the soup gets too thick. That’s why I added +extra water in case the soup is too thick. That way you can add extra water to thin it down. OR leave it thick. The choice is up to you.

If your split pea soup is too thin let it cook longer uncovered to let the water evaporate out.

And if it’s too thick slowly add a little water OR broth to the soup until it’s the consistency you like.

Yield: 6 servings

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Split pea and ham soup recipe.

Looking to use up that leftover ham? Let's make one of my favorite soups, Split Pea Soup with Ham. There's nothing better than chasing away the chill of the day with a frugal and tasty soup!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tsp smoke flavor, OPTIONAL
  • 1 tsp salt, but salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, but pepper to taste


  1. put the peas in a heavy dutch oven
  2. wash and clean peas as described above
  3. cover with three quarts of water
  4. cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until the peas are soft and falling apart
  5. chop the vegetables if you haven't already
  6. quickly saute them in a frying pan with a little olive oil over medium heat just until soft, 5 minutes or so
  7. add them to the peas, add a half cup of water to the frying pan and deglaze it add that to the soup too
  8. chop the ham into bite-size pieces add it to the soup
  9. add the broth, Italian Herbs, bay leaf, and the smoke flavor if using
  10. let the soup simmer for another 30 minutes and then taste for salt and pepper add as desired
  11. simmer for 30 minutes or so and it's ready to serve, if it's too thick add a little water to thin it down and bring it back to a simmer, if you added more water and it's too thin let it simmer a little longer

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 131Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 3mgSodium 1160mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 8gSugar 6gProtein 8g

This nutrition information was calculated using a computer program, results may vary.

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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