This homemade Split Pea Soup is the perfect cozy soup recipe as we roll into the winter months. This soup is a nutritious blend of split peas, savory ham, and sauteed vegetables, creating the perfect comfort food to warm you from the inside out.

Split Pea Soup is our favorite way to use leftover Baked Ham from the holidays, but you can make it without a ham bone, adding diced ham or bacon, or keep it vegetarian. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is.

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Be sure to try some of our other soup favorites like Beef Stew or our Broccoli and Cheese Soup served right in an edible bread bowl. I love a hearty, nutritious, comforting bowl of soup on a cold Idaho winter day, and this Split Pea Soup checks all of the boxes.

The Best Split Pea Soup Recipe

Growing up, my mom had the best Split Pea Soup recipe. She called it by its Ukrainian name, Horohoviy Soup. I remember back when I was working as a nurse, on a cold winter day, my husband called my mom for this recipe and became a culinary superhero. I was so surprised when I came home and he had a warm bowl of homemade Split Pea Soup waiting for me. This isn’t just a bowl of soup… It warms you up, does the body good, and takes me straight back to my childhood – comfort in a bowl, my friends.

Split Pea Soup Video

Watch Natasha make Split Pea Soup. You will be surprised at how easy it is to make, the stove does most of the work. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Here’s why you will love this recipe

  • Easy – this soup is so easy to make! Just chop, sauté, simmer, and serve
  • Rich and savory flavor – between the yellow split peas, the ham, and the vegetables, it’s delicious
  • Healthy comfort food – a complete meal in one bowl
  • Leftover friendly – This soup can be made ahead and re-heats beautifully the next day.

Ingredients

I love making this soup with yellow split peas. I prefer the flavor over green split peas and love the appealing golden color. A green-tinged soup is a hard sell for my kids so this is perfect!

  • Water and Chicken Stock – create the base for this hearty soup
  • Ham – use diced ham or use your leftover Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter ham bone. After cooking, remove the ham hock. The tender meat will fall right off the bone, and you can add back into the soup.
  • Split Peas – I use dry, golden split peas. They have a sweet flavor profile and are more visually appealing than green split peas (which is helpful especially when serving kids). No need to soak for hours (or even at all), the peas soften to create a creamy and satisfying texture. You can substitute green split peas.
  • Vegetables – potatoes, carrots, celery, yellow onion create the thick, flavorful base
  • Flavor/Herbs – garlic, bay leaves, fresh dill or parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper

Variations

  • Ham Hock Bone – if you enjoyed a Roast Ham for the holidays and have leftover ham bones, add the ham hock directly to your pot with the split peas. Your soup will be infused with flavor and the meat left on the bone becomes so tender it falls right into the soup.
  • Pork Riblets – You can cook pork riblets in the water with your split peas just like my mom does. Just be sure to skim off any impurities and avoid boiling vigorously. My mom also uses this for Sorrel Soup.
  • Bacon – sautee bacon first then spoon it out and cook your veggies in the bacon fat. Use the browned crispy bacon as a topping for your soup.
  • Bouillon Cubes – Instead of chicken stock, use the chicken or vegetable bouillon equivalent.
  • Green Split Peas – if this is your preference or if you aren’t able to find yellow split peas, the green ones will work in a pinch (but don’t tell my Mom – k?)

What are split peas?

Split peas are dried green or yellow peas that have split. Peas have two halves inside of their outer shell that make up the round pea, and during the drying process, they separate. Split peas are the peeled halves and become very tender during the cooking process creating a smooth texture. They are low in fat and a good source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals which make them a great addition to soups and other recipes such as stews, salads, and curries.

Pro Tip:

I’ve tested soaking the peas overnight in hopes of speeding up the cooking process but I didn’t notice any difference in timing. Just be sure to rinse and pick them over to remove any debris then drain your peas before adding them to the pot.

How to Make Split Pea Soup with Ham

  • Sauté – Set a large soup pot or 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add ham (or ham hock), and sauté until golden brown. Remove the ham and set it to the side.
Add olive oil and sauté chopped onion and celery until softened.
  • Combine– Add stock, water, and rinsed and drained peas. Add the ham back to the pot. Bring to a boil and skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top.
  • Flavor and Simmer – Add thyme and bay leaves and season with salt. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until peas are almost dissolved. If using a ham hock, remove the bone from the soup, then shred the meat and return it to the pot.
  • Simmer Additional Vegetables – Add chopped carrots and potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes or until the veggies are fork-tender.
  • Season and Serve – Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Press in the garlic, add dill or parsley and immediately turn off the heat. Serve topped with crispy bacon and more fresh herbs. Keep in mind it will thicken more as it cools.
How to make split pea soup step by step

Pro Tip:

Add thyme sprigs to the pot whole – no chopping needed. The leaves will fall off the stems, which are easy to remove later. Also, when the peas and ham come to a boil, the foam will rise to the top. Skim off and discard the foam for a cleaner-looking soup.

Skimming off foam from split pea soup

Serve With

Split pea soup is a hearty and satisfying meal on its own. All you need is some Crusty French Bread, Dinner Rolls, or Biscuits to go with it. If you want to make this Split Pea Soup even better, try these toppings:

  • Bacon Bits – add a nice salty bite
  • Croutons – homemade is best, but you can also use storebought
  • Fresh Herbs – parsley, dill, or fresh thyme
  • Ham – diced cooked ham
  • Cheese – shredded parmesan
  • Green Onion or Chives – chop and sprinkle on top
  • Pepper – freshly cracked

Can I Make Split Pea Soup in a Crockpot?

Add all of your ingredients to your slow cooker, reducing the water by half since not as much water will evaporate as it cooks. Cook on low heat for 7 hours.

Split pea soup in a bowl with bread on the side

Make-Ahead

Split Pea Soup is one of those recipes that’s even better the next day after you have allowed the flavors to meld. Cool your soup to room temperature before storing it. Tip: Pour your soup into shallow containers to allow it to cool faster.

  • To Refrigerate: Store cooled soup in airtight containers for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Use freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty Ziploc bags. Leave some space at the top of the container or bag to allow the soup to expand as it freezes. If using bags, lay the bag flat for easier storage and quick thawing.
  • To Reheat: Thaw your soup in the refrigerator overnight. You can cook your thawed soup in the microwave or on the stovetop. If the soup has thickened, add water or broth to thin it out.
Split pea soup in a bowl with a spoon showing the hearty vegetables in the golden broth

More Hearty Soup Recipes

If you love this Split Pea Soup recipe, then you won’t want to miss these hearty soup recipes:

Split Pea Soup Recipe

4.94 from 61 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Split Pea Soup Served with a spoon
This Split Pea Soup with ham is a nutritious blend of sweet golden peas and savory ham and vegetables creating a rich and flavorful dish that's perfect for any cold winter day.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 servings

Instructions

  • Set a large soup pot or 5 1/2 qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add ham (or ham hock, and sautee until golden brown). Remove ham to a separate plate.
  • Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock, water, and drained peas, and add ham back to the pot. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  • Add thyme and bay leaves and season with 1/2 tsp salt. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until peas are almost dissolved. If using a ham hock, remove bone from soup then shred the meat and put it back into the pot.
  • Add carrots and potatoes and cook another 20 minutes or until veggies are fork-tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems.
  • Press in the garlic, add dill or parsley, then immediately turn off the heat. Serve topped with crispy bacon and more fresh herbs.

Nutrition Per Serving

1serving Serving266kcal Calories40g Carbs16g Protein6g Fat1g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat3g Monounsaturated Fat15mg Cholesterol896mg Sodium628mg Potassium8g Fiber4g Sugar2576IU Vitamin A24mg Vitamin C52mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Split Pea Soup Recipe
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
266
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
15
mg
5
%
Sodium
 
896
mg
39
%
Potassium
 
628
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
40
g
13
%
Fiber
 
8
g
33
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
16
g
32
%
Vitamin A
 
2576
IU
52
%
Vitamin C
 
24
mg
29
%
Calcium
 
52
mg
5
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Split Pea Soup, Split Pea Soup Recipe
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 266
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Maria
    June 11, 2024

    Have made this soup twice now in the last 10 days! I used bacon and added only half the water and it turned out amazing. Perfect soup as we’re heading into the colder weather in Australia.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 11, 2024

      Thank you for sharing, Maria!

      Reply

  • Laura
    May 15, 2024

    Forgot to add, instant pot on high pressure 15 minutes and 15 minute release.

    I use whatever I have for the broth meat base. Kielbasa, smoked turkey, bone in cooked ham, etc

    Reply

  • Laura
    May 15, 2024

    Instant pot is the best for me this! I cook ham with bone under high pressure with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and salt overnight (4 hrs).
    In the morning, take out ham, pour broth into pot.
    In the instant pot saute onion, carrot, and celery with butter. Add ham meat, peas, broth, crushed garlic, black pepper, coriander, cumin, basil, parsley and oregano.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 15, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Laura! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Mari
    April 1, 2024

    Hi Natasha, this is just a question.
    I have the left over ham bone from yesterday’s Easter dinner but it’s kind of sweet because of the glaze. Should I rinse it a bit before using it for my soup?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 1, 2024

      Hi there, I haven’t tested using glazed but if you want it a bit sweeter I think its fine?

      Reply

  • C
    March 15, 2024

    Soup is delicious!! Now I have a recipe for leftover ham. I halved the recipe cuz there’s just me.

    Reply

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