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Split Pea Soup

This classic Split 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 pot of Split Pea Soup with a ladle in it and fresh thyme on top.

I realize that I’m making quite a claim when I say that this is the best split pea soup ever, but it really is. Just read through the comments, people are in love. There is no doubt in my mind that it could win awards.

The recipe comes from a super old cookbook that my mom has. The steps are simple, and so are the ingredients! This one even landed a coveted spot in The Cozy Cookbook, so you know it’s good!

How to Make it

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions, including the Crock Pot and Instant Pot cooking methods.

Add a meaty ham bone to a 4.5 quart Dutch oven or soup pot along with the rinsed split peas, onions, butter, olive oil, onion powder, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and water.

A meaty ham bone in a dutch oven with onions, bay leaves, and water being added.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer for 2.5 hours or until desired thickness is obtained. (Higher altitudes will require longer cooking time.) Add the potatoes and carrots about 40 minutes prior to serving.

Making Split Pea Soup with a ham bone, potatoes, and carrots in broth.

Remove from heat once the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Remove the ham bone and cut/shred 2 cups of ham from it and add it back to the soup. Serve!

Split Pea Soup in a Dutch oven with Ham being added.

Do You Need to Soak Split Peas

  • Soaking split peas may decrease the cooking time slightly, but since they’re already halved and pretty thin, it’s not necessary. I don’t soak them for this recipe. 

Using a Ham Bone

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

  • If your ham bone is small, or you are using a ham bone substitute: Be prepared to add up to 4 chicken bouillon cubes to the broth to add more flavor if needed.
  • If your bone doesn’t have much meat: You can also add a diced ham steak at the beginning of cooking. 1 (8oz.) steak = about 1 ¼ cups diced ham.

Ham Bone Substitutes

  • Bone-in Picnic Shoulder or smoked ham shank
  • Using a ham hock is the next best option.
  • Chopped salted pork and/or chopped smoked bacon can also be substituted.

Pro Tips

  • Unlike most soup recipes, the vegetables don’t need to be softened in butter/oil first. They float to the surface of the soup and cook/soften in the fat from the ham bone.
  • 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.
  • If you’re at a higher altitude, longer cooking time is required.

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Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • This soup does freeze and reheat very well, just ensure that the potatoes and carrots are cooked until just fork tender so that they don’t become too soft.

A white bowl of split pea soup with a spoon scooping some out.

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Split Pea Soup

4.99 from 157 ratings
This Split Pea Soup is made with a delicious ham bone, potatoes, and carrots, in a thick and flavorful broth.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry split peas, equal to 2 cups
  • 1 ham bone, See notes for substitution options
  • 2 cups ham, cut from the ham bone at the end.
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons onion powder, not teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 8 cups water, see notes
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

Instructions

  • Note: The split peas do not need to be soaked for this recipe.

Stove Top

  • Add the uncleaned/meaty ham bone to a large soup pot along with the rinsed split peas, onions, onion powder, butter, olive oil, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme.
  • Add the water and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, with the lid slightly cracked.
  • Let the soup simmer for 2.5 hours or until desired thickness is obtained. Stir occassionally as it cooks to lift any settling on the bottom of the pot. (Note that higher altitudes may required 5 or more hours of simmering time.) The longer it simmers, the thicker and more flavorful it will get.
  • Add the carrots and potatoes about 40 minutes prior to serving.
  • Once the carrots and potatoes are fork tender, remove the ham bone, bay leaves, and thyme stems. Shred/cut 2 cups of ham from the bone and add it back to the soup. Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot

  • Rinse the peas. Add all of the ingredients to 6+ quart instant pot. Make sure the pot isn’t more than 2/3 full.
  • Secure the lid and set it to cook on high (or press the ‘pressure cook’ button) for 25 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Remove the ham bone, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Slice/cut 2 cups of ham from the ham bone and add it back to the soup. Serve!

Slow Cooker

  • Rinse the peas. Add all of the ingredients to a large Slow Cooker (5 quarts or larger). 
  • Cook on low for 8+ hours or on high for 6+ hours. It's ready to serve once the peas are tender and the soup has reached your desired level of thickness.
  • Remove the ham bone, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Slice/cut 2 cups of ham from the ham bone and add it back to the soup. Serve!

Notes

Using a Ham Bone:

Using a meaty, uncleaned ham bone is what gives this soup it's amazingly rich and savory flavor.
  • If your ham bone is small, or you are using a ham bone substitute: Be prepared to add up to 4 chicken bouillon cubes to the broth to add more flavor if needed.
  • If your bone doesn't have much meat: You can also add a diced ham steak at the beginning of cooking. 1 (8oz.) steak = about 1 ¼ cups diced ham.

Ham Bone Substitutes:

  1. Bone-in Picnic Shoulder or smoked ham shank 
  2. Using a ham hock is the next best option.
  3. Chopped salted pork and/or chopped smoked bacon can also be substituted.

Nutritional information is an estimate, and is per serving. There are 6 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 623mg, Potassium: 943mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 7211IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

 

 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

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450 comments on “Split Pea Soup”

  1. Excellent! I have made this several times

  2. I’ve always liked pea soup but it was always kinda bland ( I’m not a natural cook) so I decided to try your recipe and wow am I glad I did. This is hands down the best pea soup I’ve ever tasted!  I made it in the crock pot, a couple of hours on high, the rest on low. I added everything ( potatoes, carrots) at the beginning, the biggest pain was shredding the ham, however it was well worth it. We will be eating this often. Thanks for sharing. 

    • Hi Claire! I am so happy that you enjoyed this soup! This is something I love making a few times a year and it’s always a huge hit! 🙂 People have been known to give me their ham bones in the hope that I’ll make them a batch! 😉 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  3. I made this today. This soup is delicious 😋. I substituted smoked turkey necks for the ham because that’s what I had in my freezer. I also added dried parsley and used dried thyme, because I didn’t have fresh. I added a bit of salt at the very end to pull it all together. Perfection! This one is going into my recipe box!!

  4. Holy God in Heaven – this is a delicious recipe and so, so easy!  I made the Instant Pot version and, start to finish, it only took me about an hour. I’ve already enjoyed two bowls. It’s THAT good. 10/10! Highly recommend!

    • Wahooo! I love the enthusiasm Kathy!🙌 I get extra excited about this recipe, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review and such great comments!

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