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It might not be pretty, but this delicious and simple Classic Split Pea Soup made with dried peas and a leftover ham bone screams comfort food. It’s perfect for a cold winter day!
Growing up, my favorite soup was canned split pea soup. I remember taking it in a thermos in my school lunches and having it home on cold snowy Texas days. However, having that canned soup as an adult is just not the same…no matter how much I loved it as a kid. So I started making my own from a leftover ham bone and dried split peas. It certainly isn’t the best looking soup, but Y’all…it is freaking amazing!
How to Make Classic Split Pea Soup
- Rinse and Drain split peas.
- Cook chopped onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil in a large stock pot until tender. Add seasonings, peas, and ham bone to the pot.
- Add chicken broth (or vegetable broth) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat, put on the lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove ham bone and cut off any ham pieces, chop, and return to the pot. Discard bone and any skin. Season and enjoy!
Ingredients Needed for Split Pea Soup
- leftover ham bone (with some meat still attached)
- split peas
- onion (I use my stash of frozen chopped onions)
- dried thyme
- bay leaves
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
What if I don’t have a Leftover Ham Bone?
You can still make this soup without a leftover ham bone…although it’s my favorite way to use a ham bone. It’s also the tastiest. However, sometimes I just want a big bowl of soup and don’t have a ham bone so I use a couple ham steaks (found in the pork area of the meat section) and usually those have a little piece of bone so that’s a win-win. Otherwise, pick up a package of chopped ham and add it to the soup.
How to Cook Split Peas
Split peas are so easy to cook. The best part is they don’t need soak time. Split peas need a good rinse and they just cook along with the other soup ingredients in about an hour to an hour and a half on the stove top. In the instant pot they only take about 15 minutes at high pressure and 8-10 hours in a slow cooker on low.
If you skip the crackers, then this split pea soup is naturally gluten and dairy free. Which is a great thing for my family.
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- coarse Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-16 oz package dried green split peas (~2 cups)
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 smoked ham hock or ham bone
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot (about 4-6 quarts) over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and cook until the onions are soft. Add the bay leaves, dried thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Add the rinsed split peas and stir to combine. Add the broth and the ham/ham bone and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Check on the soup, stirring every 20-30 minutes. The soup is ready when the peas are soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of cooking time.
- Using tongs, remove the ham onto a cutting board and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones, chop, and stir back into the soup (discard the bones and skin). Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove the bay leaves.
- Use a stick blender or regular blender (work in small batches) to puree soup to desired consistency. Sometimes I don't puree at all and other times I completely blend it. It's good both ways.
Freeze: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Note: Color of the soup depends on the peas, the amounts of other ingredients used. Sometimes it's bright green....sometimes is yellow-ish or anywhere in between. And that's totally fine.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 364 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 107mg Sodium: 448mg Carbohydrates: 16g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 34g
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