Homemade Split Pea Soup

This classic Pea Soup recipe is made with a meaty ham bone, carrots, onions, potatoes, and has a thick and flavorful broth. It’s easy to make on the Stove Top, Instant Pot, or Crock Pot!

A white bowl filled with split pea soup with fresh thyme and a spoon next to the bowl..

I realize that I’m making quite a claim when I say that this is the best split pea soup recipe ever, but it is. Just read through the comments, people are in love.

The recipe comes from a super old cookbook that my mom has. The steps are simple, and so are the ingredients.

Note: I first published this recipe in 2014. I have since republished it in 2018 and again in 2019 as a result of adding more information, updating the pictures, etc. But I assure you, the recipe itself remains the same!

Splie Pea Soup recipe from an old cookbook.

☝️Variations to the Original Recipe

  • The original recipe doesn’t call for a ham bone, but I highly suggest you use one.
  • I also recommend that you use 1/2 chicken broth, 1/2 water. (The recipe calls for all water.)
  • You should also refrain from adding any salt as the chicken broth and ham have enough salt already.
  • I suggest using fresh garlic vs. garlic powder.
  • I like to add sprigs of fresh thyme. 

PRO TIP: Homemade soup tastes much better with homemade chicken stock.

overhead view of ingredients to make split pea soup.

Split Pea Soup with a Ham Bone:

Using a nice meaty, uncleaned ham bone is what gives this soup it’s amazingly rich and savory flavor.

…(But you can ignore all of the ham/ham bone references if you must, and make this recipe without it, I’ll just look the other way.)

meaty ham bone on a white surface

Ham Bone Substitutes

Using smoked ham shanks or ham hocks are a great alternative and also add tremendous flavor. (If you can ask the butcher for one or the other, a shank is meatier and more preferable for this recipe.)

Chopped salted pork and/or chopped smoked bacon can also be substituted.

A spatula lifting out a meaty ham bone from simmering soup.

My Ham Bone After Simmering

These bones are from the exact same meaty home bone pictured above. And nope! I didn’t clean these, they cleaned themselves! This gives the soup so much flavor.

Ham bone with no meat left on it after simmering in soup.

Soaking Split Peas Overnight:

Split peas do not need to be soaked to make pea soup, but it can help speed up the cooking process.

  • Completely dry peas take 2+ hours of simmering before the soup is ready.
  • Peas that have been soaked overnight take about 1+ hours. 
  • Note that these cooking times need to be increased for higher altitudes.

Note: My instructions are based on peas that have not been soaked. Just be sure to rinse them first.

Uncooked Split Peas in a bowl of soup

How to Thicken Split Pea Soup

The longer you simmer split pea soup, the more it thickens. Just make sure the temperature is low if you are going to simmer for several hours to avoid losing too much liquid.

I like to simmer this soup for several hours, note that if you’re at a high altitude a longer cooking time is also required.

A white bowl filled with homemade split pea soup with a spoon in it.

Storage

Refrigerator

This soup should be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezer

Pea soup freezes and reheats very well. It’s best if eaten with 3 months of freezing.

What Goes with Split Pea Soup?

A soup ladle filled with homemade split pea soup from a soup pot.

More Recipes for Leftover Ham:

Ham Casserole with Broccoli and Rice| Scalloped Potatoes and Ham| Ham and Cheese QuicheHam and Bean Soup

Print
4.99 from 75 votes
Servings: 6
Split Pea Soup
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
 
Author: Stephanie
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Split Pea Soup

This BEST Pea Soup recipe is made with a meaty ham bone and is easy to make on the Stove Top, Instant Pot, or Crock Pot!

Ingredients
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb. dry split peas equal to 2 cups
  • 1 ham bone (optional but preferred!)
  • 2 cups ham diced
  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 2 cups carrots diced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons onion powder optional
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 russet potato diced
Instructions
Stove Top
  1. Rinse the peas. Put the water, chicken broth, split peas, & uncleaned ham bone in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Add all remaining ingredients except for the potato. Reduce to a simmer.

  3. Note: Completely dry peas take 2+ hours of simmering before the soup is ready. Peas that have been soaked overnight take 1+ hours. Either way, I still chose (and recommend) that you let the soup simmer for several hours. This allows plenty of time for the peas to cook and the soup to thicken and fully absorb the flavor from the ham bone.

  4. Add the potato about 40 minutes prior to eating.

  5. Once the poatoes are tender, remove the ham bone/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot
  1. Rinse the peas. Add all of the ingredients to 6+ quart instant pot. Make sure the pot isn’t more than 2/3 full. **The Peas do not need to be soaked.**

  2. Secure the lid and set it to cook on high (or press the ‘pressure cook’ button) for 25 minutes.

  3. Once finished, let 10-15 minutes pass before you trigger the quick release valve. This will allow most of the pressure to release naturally, allowing the soup to cook a little bit longer.

  4. Remove the ham bone/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Serve!

Slow Cooker
  1. Rinse the peas. Add all of the ingredients to a large Slow Cooker (5 quarts or larger). 

  2. Cook on low for 8+ hours or on high for 4+ hours. It's ready to serve once the peas are tender and the soup has reached your desired level of thickness.

  3. Remove the ham bone/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems and serve!

Recipe Video
Recipe Notes

Ham Bone Substitutes for Split Pea Soup:

Using a smoked ham shank is the best alternative to a ham bone.

Using a ham hock is the next best option.

Chopped salted pork and/or chopped smoked bacon can also be substituted.


PRO TIP: Homemade soup tastes much better with homemade chicken stock. 


This soup is great with with homemade croutons or ciabatta bread!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 343, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 1188mg, Potassium: 912mg, Carbohydrates: 33g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 19g, Vitamin A: 7185%, Vitamin C: 20.5%, Calcium: 68%, Iron: 2.3%

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 Carrots, onions, potatoes, split peas ham blend perfectly together in this rich and flavorful split pea soup recipe that comes straight from mom! | The Cozy Cook | #soup #peas #comfortfood #ham #peasoup