Our split pea soup recipe is a family favorite, so my girls are always pleased to hear that it's on the menu. It's low fat, filled with protein, and very comforting on a cold rainy day.
The ingredients for our split pea soup recipe are all pantry staples that are easy to find at any large grocery store. Let's talk about the main ingredients.
- Mirepoix: We used yellow onion, celery, and carrots chopped into small dice pieces.
- Meat: We used a leftover meaty spiral ham bone for the best flavor. We also used 2 cups of cubed spiral ham.
- Split Peas: We used dried yellow split peas that were checked for pebbles and debris, rinsed, and drained. There is no need to pre-soak the peas.
- Spices: We used bay leaves, marjoram, salt, and black pepper.
- Broth: We used unsalted chicken broth because the ham is salty.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Get a smoky taste by adding smoked paprika, liquid smoke, or smoked portabella mushrooms.
- Need vegetarian split pea soup? Replace meat with other smoky taste options and use vegetable stock.
- Want a sweeter split pea soup? Add parsnips or additional carrots.
- Want other garnish options? Try crumbled bacon, croutons, sour cream, fresh thyme leaves, or green onions.
How to Make
Prep all the ingredients for our split pea soup recipe so the cooking process goes quicker.
- Pick out any green peas, then rinse. (image 1)
- Place the peas and chicken stock in a large pot along with the spices (marjoram, bay leaves, salt and pepper). Put in a quartered onion and a meaty ham bone. (image 2)
- Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for an hour. Remove the meaty ham bone and discard the quartered onion. (image 3)
- Pour in the last 3 cups of chicken stock over the split peas. (image 4)
- Stir in the chopped onion, carrots, celery, chopped ham, and a little bit more salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. (image 5)
- After 15 minutes of simmering, taste it. Adjust seasonings if desired. Stir then cover and simmer 15 minutes more. (image 6)
- Once the meaty ham bone has cooled, cut off the meat and finely chop it. Add half of it to the pot and reserve the rest for garnish. (image 7)
- Remove the bay leaves and garnish with chopped ham, parsley or green onion. Serve hot with some buttered crusty white bread. Enjoy! (image 8)
Our split pea soup recipe tastes amazing when served with one of our crusty white bread recipes like our easy white mountain bread. It is pictured below with our Irish boxty bread. Just break off a chunk and dip it in your bowl.
No, you don't need to pre-soak or parboil the peas. Just make sure your pot is simmering for 1 ½ hours. If you decide to pre-soak the split peas, it will reduce the cooking time by half. Don't use split peas that are very old and dried out as they won't cook as well. If you are at a high altitude, you'll need to increase the chicken stock.
Yes, it most definitely is! It's high in dietary fiber, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and iron. You can also make this recipe lower in sodium by using no salt added chicken broth and adding only the salt you need.
It's always a good idea to wash and sort split peas or any legume before cooking. Rinsing them ensures they're clean and makes it easy to identify any broken or damaged peas and tiny pebbles that might be in the bag.
Our favorite ways to thicken soups, especially split pea soup are to cook with the lid off, so the extra liquid evaporates, puree half and add it back to the pot, add more rinsed dried spit peas, giving them plenty of time for them to cook, add diced potatoes, or make a slurry of cornstarch to water or chicken stock (1:3 ratio).
If you're looking for other hearty, comforting soup recipes, you'll definitely want to try our recipes for ham and bean soup, beer cheese soup, cheese and potato soup, creamy wild rice soup, and dill pickle soup.
- Use leftover spiral ham to make it easy and delicious!
- Don't have a ham bone? Use 2 ham hocks or 2 cups of cubed country ham.
- Don't like the color? Use half green peas and half yellow split peas.
- Need it thinner? Add more stock or unfiltered water.
- Want a smoother texture? Use a blender in batches, immersion blender, or potato masher.
- Need to cool it quickly for freezing? Put the pot in an ice bath in your kitchen sink.
More Soup and Stew Recipes You'll Love
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Split Pea Soup Recipe
For the Split Pea Soup
- 3 14-oz bags dried yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 15 cups unsalted chicken stock, reserve 3 cups for the end
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 4 teaspoons salt, reserve 1 teaspoon for the end
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, reserve ½ teaspoon for the end
- 1 meaty ham bone, reserve some meat for garnish
- 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 1 ½ cup carrot, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cups smoked ham, diced
For the Garnish
- Reserved ham from bone
- ⅓ cup sliced green onions or flatleaf parsley
- Pick out any green peas or little pebbles from the dried peas, then rinse them in a colander. There's no need to soak them.
- Place the peas, 12 cups of chicken stock, the quartered onion, bay leaves, marjoram, salt, and black pepper in a very large pot. Nestle in the meaty ham bone, then cover and bring to a boil (roughly 15 minutes) then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- While it's simmering, use a food processor to chop up the carrots, celery, and onion.
- After an hour of simmering, remove the bone from the split pea soup and place on a plate. Discard the quartered onion.
- Add the last 3 cups of unsalted chicken broth, onions, carrots, celery, chopped ham, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir. Cover with the lid askew and simmer for 30 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, taste. Adjust seasonings if desired. (If you like it thinner, add more unsalted chicken broth or filtered water.)
- When the bone has cooled, cut off the meat and finely chop it. Add most of the ham to the pot, but reserve some for garnish. Taste and adjust the salt or black pepper as desired. Discard bay leaves before serving.
- Garnish with finely chopped ham, parsley or green onion. Serve hot with fresh crusty bread.
- Reduce the ingredients for this recipe by half.
- Put all the ingredients, except the quartered onion, in a large crockpot and stir.
- Cover and cook on high for 5 hours, or on low for 10 hours.
- During the last hour of cooking, remove the bone and let cool. Shred the meat from the bone and put half of it in the pot. Reserve the other half for garnish.
- Discard bay leaves before serving.
- Garnish with chopped ham, parsley or green onions.
- Substitute with 2 ham hocks if you don't have a leftover bone.
- Use half green peas and half yellow if you want to change up the color.
- Add more stock or unfiltered water to thin the soup.
- Use a blender, immersion blender or potato masher to smooth the texture.
- Put the pot in an ice bath in your kitchen sink, if you need to cool the soup quickly. Make sure the pot has cooled down some so there is no damage done to the pot or sink.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.