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.

By Published On: May 19th, 202048 Comments on Split Pea Soup

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet May 19, 2020 at 6:08 AM - Reply

    Gorgeous soup. No wonder your husband loves it! I like the addition of the ham hocks that make such a difference to the flavour of this kind of soup.

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 10:36 AM - Reply

      Thank you Kay! Ham hocks are pretty wonderful!

  2. Lina May 19, 2020 at 7:03 AM - Reply

    So happy to see a soup recipe…I do like having soup for dinner! Bookmarking this

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 7:53 AM - Reply

      I could eat this any time of day, any time of year!

  3. popsiclesociety May 19, 2020 at 7:43 AM - Reply

    It looks so good! I love it too 😋😋

  4. chezlerevefrancais May 19, 2020 at 7:51 AM - Reply

    Never thought of putting the hock in to cook with the soup. There must be so much flavour in there!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 7:52 AM - Reply

      Thank you! It was good. Where have you been?

  5. cookingwithauntjuju.com May 19, 2020 at 8:30 AM - Reply

    I love split pea soup and for some reason I haven’t made it. In Michigan we are still getting cool days so your soup would be perfect to serve!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 9:02 AM - Reply

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

  6. Sunnycovechef May 19, 2020 at 8:59 AM - Reply

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

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 9:02 AM - Reply

      Me, too! I wonder why or how we can forget something so basic!

  7. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 19, 2020 at 10:18 AM - Reply

    Ah! One of the soups of my childhood!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 10:36 AM - Reply

      I’m actuallu surprised you liked this as a kid! Maybe because of the extreme green?!!

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 19, 2020 at 11:05 AM

        We ate everything. There were no options at dinner time, there was dinner and we ate it. Consequently, we ended up liking just about everything. Well, except bleeding beets…

      • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 11:08 AM

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

  8. Linger May 19, 2020 at 10:47 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 10:51 AM - Reply

      It’s pretty wonderful!

  9. Abbe@This is How I Cook May 19, 2020 at 11:35 AM - Reply

    You remind me that I haven’t had split pea soup in so long and I love it! Love it with sour cream, a splash of sherry and some croutons. Yours sounds so similar!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 11:37 AM - Reply

      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!

  10. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen May 19, 2020 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    I made split pea soup right after Easter when I had some leftover ham. I may not be able to eat it every day but every other week would be just about right for me :)

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 2:55 PM - Reply

      It’s really a nice soup, isn’t it? Of course I’m there for the ham and sour cream!

  11. Katherine | Love In My Oven May 19, 2020 at 3:23 PM - Reply

    My mother-in-law always makes split pea soup and we ALL love it. I don’t know why I haven’t tried it on my own. Trying your recipe!!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 4:29 PM - Reply

      It’s so easy! Not that you need easy, but you could make it in your sleep!

  12. Tabula Rasa May 19, 2020 at 4:48 PM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 5:28 PM - Reply


  13. Marcellina May 19, 2020 at 4:48 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 5:28 PM - Reply

      It’s a nice soup. I eat much less soup than my husband, and I’m not sure why!

  14. sherry May 20, 2020 at 7:33 AM - Reply

    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:-)

    • chef mimi May 20, 2020 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      Oh goodness. Good to know!

  15. kitchenriffs May 20, 2020 at 9:57 AM - Reply

    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. :-)

    • chef mimi May 20, 2020 at 10:48 AM - Reply

      Wonderful! I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it!

  16. Victoria May 20, 2020 at 10:38 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi May 20, 2020 at 10:48 AM - Reply

      Thank you! It is really good and comforting!

  17. Ann Coleman May 20, 2020 at 5:15 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi May 20, 2020 at 5:26 PM - Reply

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

  18. David Scott Allen May 21, 2020 at 9:42 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi May 21, 2020 at 10:30 AM - Reply

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

  19. sippitysup May 21, 2020 at 12:02 PM - Reply

    Satisfying for sure. I follow this basic procedure when I wing it with lentils! GREG

    • chef mimi May 21, 2020 at 3:06 PM - Reply

      Yes, me as well. Even for vegetable soups that I purée. Home cooking isn’t hard!

  20. anniemarie May 21, 2020 at 12:34 PM - Reply

    I love split pea soup!! I could eat it any time of year!

  21. Ron May 23, 2020 at 11:35 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi May 23, 2020 at 2:35 PM - Reply

      Great! I love all dried peas. The mustard sounds fascinating!

  22. cookingontheweekends May 23, 2020 at 11:34 PM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi May 24, 2020 at 7:27 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much Valentina!

  23. StefanGourmet May 24, 2020 at 8:57 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi May 24, 2020 at 8:59 AM - Reply

      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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