Split Pea Soup

$9.51 recipe / $1.58 serving
by Marsha - Budget Bytes
5 from 3 votes
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The cold weather has finally creeped into my neck of the woods and all I’ve been craving lately is a big, warm bowl of soup! Lucky for me this easy Split Pea Soup recipe hits the spot! It has lots of veggies and the added ham gives it sooo much flavor! It’s thick, filling, and like most soup recipes it makes a big batch. Perfect to freeze any leftovers for later! Trust me, I’ll definitely be keeping this soup in rotation this season!

Overhead view of two bowls of split pea soup with parsley and a napkin on the side.

What Are Split Peas?

Split peas are just like they sound, peas that have been dried and split in half. They’re part of the legume family and are often found in both green and yellow varieties. Both can be used to make this easy, comforting split pea soup. We’ll be using green split peas for this recipe. You can find split peas in the dry bean aisle, next to bags of other types of dry beans.

Ingredients for Split Pea Soup

You won’t need much to make this thick and chunky split pea soup recipe. Here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Split Peas  – Split peas are the star of the show for this simple soup recipe. We’re using dry, uncooked green split peas.
  • Aromatics – Onion, celery, carrots, and garlic provide a wonderful flavor base for the soup.
  • Ham Hock – The ham hock provides lots of smoky, salty flavor to the soup. It also gives you a little bit of meat to enjoy with every other bite :)
  • Bay Leaf – Adds an extra subtle layer of flavor and depth to the soup.
  • Chicken Broth – Make sure you use a good quality chicken broth as a lot of the soup flavor will come from the broth. We use Better than Bouillon to make our broth. It’s economical and has great flavor!
  • Russet Potato – To make this an even more filling and hearty soup, we added one diced russet potato. It also helps to thicken the soup.
  • Salt and Pepper – You’ll be surprised how much salt and flavor comes from the ham hock and chicken broth. So taste the soup towards the end, then add any salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Do Split Peas Need To Be Soaked Before Cooking?

Nope! That’s what makes this soup so simple to make. Split peas cook quickly without any pre-soaking, and because they’re already split open, they break down well to thicken soups. I like to give the split peas just a quick rinse when I take them out of the package, but other than that you can add the peas directly to your pot (without soaking) with the rest of your ingredients.

How To Store Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup stores very well in the fridge or freezer. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you don’t think you can eat all 6 servings in about 5 days, then freeze the rest in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.

Side view of two bowls of split pea soup with homemade croutons on top.

Pictured with Homemade Croutons on top!

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Split Pea Soup

5 from 3 votes
This cozy Split Pea Soup will fill you up and warm you through on those cold winter days. Super satisfying and oh so delicious!
Overhead view of a single bowl of split pea soup with one hand holding the bowl and another hand spooning some of the soup out.
Servings 6 (1 1/3 cups each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.24)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ($0.32)
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced ($0.75)
  • 3 carrots, diced ($0.46)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1 smoked ham hock ($3.65)
  • 1 lb split peas ($1.69)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (1.02)
  • 1 bay leaf ($0.10)
  • 1 russet potato, peeled & diced ($1.12)

Instructions 

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, diced onion, diced celery, and diced carrots. Saute for about 4 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Stir in the minced garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add the split peas, ham hock, bay leaf, and chicken broth to the pot and gently stir.
  • Add a lid and bring the pot to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Give the soup a stir periodically and flip the ham hock over once or twice, while the soup is simmering, so that it gets even exposure to the hot liquid.
  • After 1 hour the peas should have completely broken down almost to a mush. If they are still retaining their shape, continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
  • Next remove the ham hock from the pot and set it aside to cool. Add the diced potato to the soup and stir to combine. Continue to simmer for about 12 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • While the potatoes are simmering, and once the ham hock is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred into small pieces.
  • Add the ham meat back to the pot with the soup and gently stir to combine.
  • Feel free to season the soup with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Enjoy with crackers, homemade croutons, or crusty bread!

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Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 458kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 29gFat: 13gSodium: 994mgFiber: 21g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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More Split Pea Soup Variations

Overhead view of a single bowl of split pea soup with one hand holding the bowl and another hand spooning some of the soup out.

How To Make Split Pea Soup – Step By Step Photos

Overhead view of diced onion, diced carrots, and diced celery in a dutch oven pot.

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, one diced yellow onion, three diced celery stalks, and three diced carrots. Sauté for about 4 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Stir in two minced garlic cloves and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.

Split peas, ham hock, bay leaf, and chicken broth added to the pot.

Add one pound of split peas, one ham hock, one bay leaf, and 6 cups of chicken broth to the pot and gently stir.

Overhead picture of the soup before it's cooked.

Add a lid and bring the pot to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Give the soup a stir periodically and flip the ham hock over once or twice, while the soup is simmering, so that it gets even exposure to the hot liquid.

Overhead picture of soup pot with diced potatoes being added and ham hock being removed.

After 1 hour the peas should have completely broken down almost to a mush. If they are still retaining their shape, continue to simmer for 10 more minutes. Next remove the ham hock from the pot and set it aside to cool. Add the diced potato to the soup and stir to combine. Continue to simmer for about 12 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Ham hock being pulled off the bone on a cutting board.

While the potatoes are simmering, and once the ham hock is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred into small pieces.

Add ham hock meat back to the soup pot.

Add the ham meat back to the pot with the soup and gently stir to combine.

Overhead view of finished split pea soup with ham.

Season the soup with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Overhead view of a dutch oven pot full of split pea soup with homemade croutons on top.

Time to enjoy a warm, satisfying bowl of Split Pea Soup with some homemade croutons, crackers, or crusty bread! Yum!

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Comments

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    1. It will definitely affect the flavor a lot. You can try adding more smoked paprika and maybe a little coconut oil to replace the fattiness that the ham ads, and you may need to increase the salt some.

  1. Can’t wait to make it, but I can’t use ham because of the salt content, so I use a smoked Turkey leg, still tasted so good. Thank you for this recipe.

  2. This recipe is a winner, as long as one realizes that it is flexible enough to accommodate substitutions. Although perfect as written, I rarely have a ham hock–or can even find one at my local supermarket–so usually sub a ham bone from my freezer, a ham steak, or chopped bacon. A vegetarian version based on this recipe is deliciously satisfying and usually the way I make this soup, although without cured meats, it will need more salt.

  3. I’ve made at least a dozen of your recipes and this one is another winner! I skipped the celery and bay leaf since I didn’t have any, subbed the hock for leftover thanksgiving ham, and added some mustard and red pepper flakes to add more kick. Served with sesame sticks as croutons. Great comfort food for a Sunday in February!

  4. I have never been a big fan of split pea soup until I started using half yellow split peas and half green split peas. The mix makes a great soup!

    1. I can’t wait to try this! I never thought about using yellow split peas or ever heard of them.

  5. Hello my friend — like everyone else in all the land, we’re “staying home and staying safe” up here in the Mitten. So doing an inventory of what we still have after 4 weeks of not shopping….I’ve got just about everything in the house for split pea soup…except no dried peas. Lots of frozen peas for some reason though. So have you any tips for this gal for whom cooking brings NO joy (but a nice hot bowl of soup sounds just dandy?!) Your thoughts (and recipes!) are appreciated!! — Peace, D #BeWellStayWell

  6. Do you make this with your ham hock still frozen? If so, do you know if I could make this with a ham bone, frozen, unthawed?

    1. I’d recommend thawing it at least some before cooking. If you cook with it frozen it will take longer to cook and you may not get all the flavor and meat from it.

  7. This is a classic very delicious split pea soup. This is the first time I’ve ever used ham hocks. I didn’t get any meat out of them but the flavor they created was so so so good. And honestly I don’t actually like eating ham so this actually worked really well for me! I know weird. Still another winner from Beth and budget bytes. Haven’t disliked anything I’ve ever tried from her! 

  8. Wow, I’m blown away by this recipe. I’m surprised there aren’t more reviews! The peas and potatoes are creamy, the carrots are bright and sweet, and the celery and onions add an extra dimension of flavor. The smoked ham lends an extra savory richness to this soup: I highly recommend you go the extra mile to find one if you can.

    1. Sometimes I add smoked paprika to mimmic the smoky flavor, and then also add a little coconut oil to give the effect of the saturated fat given off by the ham.

  9. I love this recipe! I’ve made it multiple times now and it is amazing every time. Thank you for sharing this yummy, yet budget friendly, recipe!

  10. Made this for dinner today and it was unbelievably good. Both my husband and I burned our tongues while chowing down. Plus, it was super easy and super filling.

  11. This was AMAZING!!!! Thanks for the recipe! I added bacon instead of a hamhock because it was easier to find at the store! This soup was so rich and creamy! It was my first time making split-pea soup and definitely not my last!!