Split Pea Soup Recipe – (Stove Top, Crock Pot, Instant Pot!)
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!
Be sure to try my recipe for Lentil Soup with Ham next!
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. 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.
☝️Variations to the Original Recipe
- The original recipe doesn’t call for a ham bone, but I highly suggest you use one.
- Don’t add any salt as the ham/ham bone has enough salt already.
- Use fresh garlic vs. garlic powder.
- I like to add sprigs of fresh thyme.
See recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions, including Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Instructions.
- Ham Bone
- Olive Oil
- Split Peas
- Garlic- Freshly minced at home for best flavor. This Garlic Twister makes it easy!
- Onion Powder
- Bay Leaves
*If you don’t have a ham bone, I suggest using 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth.
How to Make it
Note: 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.
Rinse the peas and place them in the pot with the water and uncleaned ham bone.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add all remaining ingredients.
Simmer for several hours, (I recommend 5+), allowing it to flavor up and thicken. Crack the lid open just slightly.
Add the potatoes about 40 minutes prior to serving.
Using a Ham Bone
Using a nice meaty, uncleaned ham bone is what gives this soup it’s amazingly rich and savory flavor.
If you don’t have a ham bone, I suggest using 4 cups water + 4 cups chicken broth instead of using all water.
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.
Split Peas Don’t Need Soaking
Since they are already halved, they are nice and thin and ready to be cooked right in the broth.
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.
Note: If you’re at a higher altitude, longer cooking time is required.
For information regarding the health benefits from split pea soup, see this article from LiveStrong.
This soup should be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Split Pea soup freezes and reheats very well. It’s best if eaten with 3 months of freezing.
What to Serve with Split Pea Soup
- This soup is great topped with homemade croutons
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls
- Ciabatta Bread
- Homemade Garlic Bread
More Recipes for Leftover Ham:
- Ham and Bean Soup
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
- Ham Casserole with Broccoli and Rice
- Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Ham and Cheese Quiche
- Ham and Bean Soup
Get My Free Meal Plan
Split Pea Soup
- 8 cups water
- 1 lb. bag dry split peas, equal to 2 cups
- 1 ham bone, *See Notes
- 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
- Rinse the peas. Put the water, split peas, & uncleaned ham bone in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for the potato. Reduce to a simmer.
- Let the soup simmer for several hours, with the lid cracked just slightly. (I recommend 5+ hours and more for higher altitudes.) This allows plenty of time for the peas to cook and the soup to thicken and fully absorb the flavor from the ham bone. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more flavorful it gets.
- Add the potato about 40 minutes prior to eating.
- Once the poatoes are tender, remove the ham bone/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Serve and enjoy!
- 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.**
- 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/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Serve!
- 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/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems and serve!
*If you don't have a ham bone, I suggest using 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth.
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.