Ham and Split Pea Soup


Have you ever tried to make something a yucky green color look appetizing, and pretty for a picture?  I am not an expert photographer by any stretch, but I am going to go ahead and say it is impossible!  Or maybe I just need to take a class, because I couldn’t do it.

But yucky green color aside, split pea soup is one of my husbands favorite soups.  He has been asking me to make it for years, but I have never done it.  I am not a fan of it, so it always gets pushed to the back.  But this year after Christmas when we had tons of leftover ham, I decided to do him a favor, and finally make it for him!  The timing worked out wonderfully too, because my family was visiting and they got to help him eat it.  Perfect soup and sandwich lunch on a weekend.

Given that I didn’t taste it, I can’t really vouch for it.  But everyone that did eat it cleaned their bowls, and did it quickly.  I think that says a lot.  There was sandwiches, chips, fruit, and soup; the soup could easily be cast aside if it wasn’t any good.  Plus my dad has never been one to not tell you his honest opinion, no matter what is is. There was a little bit left that I froze.  My husband will take full advantage, and a few lunches he can take to work.

Yields 8

A classic Split Pea Soup with Ham

15 minPrep Time

90 minCook Time

1 hr, 45 Total Time

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  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 3 Tbls butter
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ham, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Put the dried peas in a large bowl, cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the peas, set aside.
  2. In a large stock pot melt the butter over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the celery and carrots, cook until everything is getting soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for another minute. Stir in the chopped ham, and let it begin to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, stir to get everything mixed together. Pour in chicken stock, and add the bay leaf. Let is simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the peas become tender. Add water as needed if the soup gets to thick. Remove the bay leaf, season with additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve.


For a thicker and creamier soup, puree 1/2 of the drained peas before adding them. Source: Adapted from Food Network





  1. I don’t think light green food EVER looks amazing in photographs! Dark green, sure, but light green? Never!

    Is it weird that I’ve never had split pea soup before? Probably. It is soup season though, so I’ll put this one on the list! :)

  2. This is my step-father’s favorite kind of soup too! I should surprise him with a batch sometime. And by the way, I think you did a great job with the pics!

  3. Skip the crackers for me, but the rest of the soup looks divine!

  4. This has to be one of my most favorite soups. It is something that reminds me of being young. My mom used to always make it in the winter time right around Christmas because we had ham leftover.

    Looks great!

  5. I love soup season, crackers are the perfect topping!

  6. Sounds quite yummy for a cold winter day to me Erin. I actually like the color of the soup!

  7. We are in one of Canada’s worst flu season right now. A cuppa soup like this tastes just like home and makes you feel warm and fuzzy – for all the right reasons!

  8. Split pea soup is my absolute favorite soup! even though split pea is not the most photogenic soup, you nailed it! it looks fantastic!

  9. I love soup and I haven’t had a split pea soup in forever. This looks so good and perfect for a cold day!

  10. Erin…this is one of my all time favorite soups….despite how difficult it is to photograph! (I think it ranks right up there with meat!). But I can tell….that it just looks fabulous. I would have been scraping my bowl, too! : )

  11. Thank you, Erin! You read my mind. Split pea soup is my husband’s favorite also. I was thinking last night about how we could save money if I simply just made the soup. And, voilà, your post appears. And your recipe looks super-do-able. Yea!

  12. One of my favorite soups on earth! Perfect way to use leftover ham. Delish!

  13. LOL… green soup is hard to photograph, I agree. I had to fuss with my own split pea soup photos when I made it and thought it look like something that did not look edible.

    Your soup does look good with the oyster crackers. I also like that you can see the peas in your soup… I blend mine up… maybe next time I won’t. :)

  14. Looks good to me! And I sure it tastes even better :)

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