Leftover Ham Is So Darn Good in This Split Pea Soup


If you're on the hunt for a  using , try this split pea soup with ham recipe. After all, we're big proponents of making use of what you have on hand. Just think about your family's : the  is a great use for that leftover ham bone and stretches the smoky, salty flavors of the ham even further—infusing , stews, and braises with its goodness. Or, put the ham bone in this soup to give it even more flavor! Serve each bowl with a sprinkling of crispy on top. They'll soak up the flavorful broth while adding a little crunch and texture to each bite!

Do split peas need to be soaked before cooking?

Split peas are like lentils—they don't need to be soaked before cooking, making this soup even easier to whip up on the fly.


All it takes is a bag of green split peas and a few other fridge and pantry staples that you likely have on hand.

Are split peas the same as regular peas?

Split peas are a variety of field pea grown for drying. When they're hulled, they're split at their natural seam so that they cook quickly and don't require a lengthy presoak. Genius!

Can I make split pea soup without leftover ham?

Absolutely! This soup can be made anytime. A chopped ham steak works perfectly in place of leftover ham.

Should split pea soup be thin or thick?

Split pea soup has a slightly thick, creamy consistency—it thickens naturally as the peas cook and break down.


If you prefer a thinner, more brothy split pea soup, add some water to thin it out to your desired consistency.

How long does it take to make split pea soup?

From start to finish, this soul-nourishing soup comes together in under two hours. However, after prepping and sautéing the ham and vegetables, the recipe requires little hands-on attention, so don't be afraid to tackle it on a weeknight. You can even chop the vegetables and ham beforehand to make this soup come together even quicker.  

Can split pea soup be frozen?

It sure can! This is a great soup to keep in your freezer for when you need a nutritious meal fast.


Wait for the soup to cool completely, then place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it over gentle heat in a pot on the stove.

3 tbsp.

olive oil

2 c.

diced ham


yellow onion, chopped


carrots, peeled and sliced


celery stalks, sliced


garlic cloves, chopped

1 lb.

dried green split peas

8 c.

chicken stock

1 tsp.

dried thyme


bay leaf (optional)

1/2 tsp.

salt, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp.

ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Step  1 Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the oil and ham. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ham pieces are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


Increase the heat to medium-high; add the onion, carrot, and celery, and continue to cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes more. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Step  2 Meanwhile, place the split peas in a colander. Rinse them well and pick through and discard any tiny pebbles or debris. Step  3 Add the peas, chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf, if using. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the peas "split" open in the pot and are very tender, 1 hour and 30 minutes. (If the pot stops simmering during cooking, increase the heat to medium until it returns to a simmer, then reduce the heat back to medium-low). Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water to reach desired consistency. Step  4 Season with the salt and black pepper. Serve topped with parsley, if you like. 


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