Split Pea Soup


Split pea soup. Easy. Cheap. Satisfying. Healthy. Well, depending how much sour cream you dollop on top…

My husband reminded me that he could eat split pea soup every day. The foods I could eat every day are in a very different category, but this soup is what he loves, so I make it for him, although obviously not often enough… and why not? For 99 cents and a little time, a hearty soup is hardly an effort. Plus some ham hocks.

Even though the weather is getting warmer, split pea soup with ham is still a springtime soup in my mind, but certainly satisfying during cold months as well. Here is a recipe I used to make my husband happy.(Trust me, he’s never unhappy with the many meals I continue to prepare for him. But I do like cooking for an appreciative soul.)

Split Pea Soup with Ham

16 ounces dried split peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 ham hocks
8 ounces diced ham
Sour cream, optional

Soak the split peas in warm water for about 4 hours, then drain before starting the recipe.

Add the olive oil and butter to a Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and give it a stir, then immediately add the soaked split peas and chicken stock. The broth or stock should cover the peas by at least 1/2 inch.

Add the seasoning, and bring the stock to a boil. Place the 2 ham hocks in with the peas, cover the pot, then simmer the peas for about 45 minutes; you can’t overcook the split peas.

Let the soup cool, either overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Remove the hocks and try to remove all of the ham bits from the bones. Set aside to use as garnish. If you choose, use an immersion blender to blend the soup smoother. It’s just prettier that way, but optional.

Add the diced ham to the soup, and heat. Then taste for seasoning.

Serve the hot soup with sour cream and the chopped smoked ham.

This soup could also be made with chopped carrots and/or potatoes.

When my daughters left home, they knew how to cook a pot of legumes, lentils, beans, and split peas. I think I taught them that cooking doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as well as the fact that home cooking isn’t difficult.

48 thoughts on “Split Pea Soup

    • I just discovered it’s my husband’s favorite. He says he’s told me before, but I obviously didn’t remember!

  1. Thanks for reminding me, my husband and I love pea soup. It’s been a while since I made it.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHA! I remember sitting in front of cold peas on my plate for hours… The food I don’t like is celeriac!

  2. Oh! My! Goodness! I haven’t had split pea soup in ages. My mom used to make it all the time. I’ve never made it myself. You’ve just encouraged me to go for it. Thanks so much!

    • It’s funny. I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction from this post, but it does seem to be a favorite of many, and also forgotten by many!

  3. I’m with your husband 😊 although my favourite is with marrow fat peas rather than split and then just before you purée throw in a couple of ha full of fresh/frozen peas.

  4. I make soup at least once a week and it’s always a huge pot so some for the freezer. Your split pea soup is a lovely contrast with the chunks of ham. Yum!

  5. hi mimi
    i haven’t made this soup for ages but i do love it. so hearty and warming. i once bought raw hocks instead of smoked ones – oh my they were dreadful – so greasy and fatty and scummy…. i never made that mistake again:-)

  6. Split pea soup is terrific! It’s best made with ham, but when I lack that I use ham base (good, in fact very good, but not the same as actual ham). I know I have some split peas in my pantry — this sounds like a good use of them. :-)

  7. We love split pea soup! I have to admit I’ve never made it with a ham bone (but I know that results in some tasty soup) and I like your addition of serving chopped ham on top. I’ll give that a try next time (along with adding thyme). Yours looks so smooth and creamy! Looks delish!

  8. That looks so good! The first time I tried to make split pea soup, I followed the directions on the packet of peas. That was a huge mistake, because the recipe called for water instead of stock, and no ham at all. The only seasoning was salt and carrots. Thank goodness I figured out that it’s possible to make a better soup. And your recipe certainly looks worth trying!

    • Ohhhhhh. Pretty bland sounding. This one is nice. I don’t know how much you like to cook but it’s also very easy!

  9. Haven’t had spilt pea soup in decades! Your post brought back lots of memories of sharing pots of the stuff with my musician friends — we were all so poor and they was cheap and easy to make. Might need to make some to fuel more memories!

    • And they’re still cheap to make! Depending how fancy you ham is I guess! Glad to have brought these memories back to you.

  10. Mimi, pea soup is a Thursday night tradition over here, but we use dried yellow peas. Also, we always have a squeeze of good Swedish mustard in it. But, I love split pea as well and haven’t had in a while. I’m going to shake up the Thursday tradition and make your split pea soup next week.

  11. I agree with this being a springtime soup. In fact, I’d love it in the summertime, too. And yes to the sour cream dollop. Delicious, Mimi. :-) ~Valentina

  12. This seems a variation of split pea soup that is very popular in the Netherlands in winter. It also contains smoked pork sausage and celeriac/celery root, carrot, and leeks. The peas are cooked until they fall apart, so no blending is necessary.

    • Fascinating! Ron from Lost in a Pot says they typically used yellow peas and include mustard. So many different variations are possible. I love the idea of sausage…

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