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Ham and Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup – Using leftover ham makes the best soup!  This split pea with ham soup is comforting, delicious and makes a great meal!

I am a huge soup lover, espcially when it is cold outside. It is the best way to warm up on a cold night.  Plus it is my excuse to have fresh bread.  These Honey Butter Dinner Rolls are pretty much perfect with any soup.  

Soup can be a great use when you have leftovers too.  This Split Pea with Ham soup uses lots of leftover ham after your holiday meal.  Ham & Bean Soup is another great one that you can use the ham and the ham bone in. 

This Split Pea Soup is one of my husband’s favorites. I always like to add ham to bulk it up, and it is such a great use of leftover ham after holidays, or even just diced ham from the grocery store. If you have a ham bone, it will take this to a whole new level you will go crazy for!

What You’ll Need

  • Dried Split Peas
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Ham
  • Chicken Broth
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes

The hardest part is probably soaking the split peas in water overnight so they soften. You do have to plan ahead, but otherwise so easy! 

ham and split pea soup in a bowl

How to Make Split Pea Soup

  1. Start with dried split peas. Soak in water overnight to let them soften and then you can start cooking with them.
  2. Sauté the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in melted butter until the onions are soft and tender and you can smell the garlic.
  3. Stir in the chopped ham and let is start to just brown on the edges.
  4. Add everything else to the pot and bring it to a simmer for about an hour, stirring it occasionally.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and taste to adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

Can I Make This In The Crockpot

Absolutely! This is great to cook on low for hours in the slow cooker and just enjoy when you are ready. Technically you don’t even have to sauté the vegetables when you make a soup in the crockpot, because it cooks long enough they will get tender just in the cooking process.

Can I Make This Thicker

Yes! As written, this is a rather broth-y soup. But if you want a thicker or creamier soup, the best way to do this, without adding fat from heavy cream is to puree about half of the split peas before you add them to the soup. You want to do this before you add them to the soup or you will end up pureeing some of the ham, and you don’t want that.

ham and split pea soup in a bowl

How to Cook with Split Peas

The only way I have ever seen split peas sold is dried. So they will need to be soaked or simmered in liquid before they are used.  You can make this soup without soaking them first, your soup will just need to simmer for 1-2 hours longer until the peas are cooked.

To soak your split peas just place them in a plastic container and cover them with about 2 inches of water.  I place the container in the fridge and just let them sit there overnight. Then you are ready to use them in the soup the next day. 

Can I Use A Ham Bone

Yes!! If you have one, put it in when you pore in the broth. It will flavor the soup and make it amazing. You can use water instead of broth if you want, so it takes on the full ham flavor. Either works, it is just up to you what you want.

close up split pea soup in black bowl

More Comforting Soup Recipes

Yield: 8

Ham and Split Pea Soup

ham and split pea soup in a bowl

Split Pea Soup - Using leftover ham makes the best soup!  This split pea with ham soup is comforting, delicious and makes a great meal!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 3 Tablespoons 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 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon 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.
  3. Stir in the celery and carrots, cook until everything is getting soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in the chopped ham, and let it begin to brown.
  5. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, stir to get everything mixed together.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 303Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 51mgSodium 1333mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 6gSugar 7gProtein 21g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Saturday 24th of December 2022

This soup is exactly what I love during the cold winter nights!

Sandra McCollum

Friday 23rd of December 2022

One of my favorites! Can't wait to try this soon!


Thursday 22nd of December 2022

Split pea soup is so delicious. I love all that ham in there, too. I can't wait to make this.

Magic of Spice

Thursday 10th of January 2013

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


Thursday 10th of January 2013

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. :)

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