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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

5 from 217 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
  • 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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623 comments on “Split Pea Soup”

  1. Excellent! Made a few times and all the family loves it.

    • Wonderful! I’m so glad that you and your family loves this soup as much as we do! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!! -Stephanie 🙂

  2. Perfect…Substituted celery over potatoes. Great recipe used hambone from Easter delicious.

  3. Loved this soup.  Followed the stove top version as written.  Must be watched carefully.  It has a tendency to burn even though I constantly stirred it.  Obviously not enough.  It didn’t spoil the flavor and will make the crockpot version next time.  I did add more water as it is very thick.  I have frozen the leftovers and will add more water when reheating as needed.  I gave this 5 stars. 

    • I’m so happy that you enjoyed it Yvonne!! Perhaps a slightly lower heat setting would also help ensure that anything that settles to the bottom doesn’t burn, and it likely wouldn’t need more water as you’ll have less reduction over lower heat 🙂 I agree with adding some water when reheating from frozen, I do that too! So glad that you enjoyed it, thank you so much for the review!!

  4. Very good recipe!! And, a great way to use up leftover Easter ham! I used reduced sodium chicken broth instead of water & a little less than 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme instead of fresh. 

  5. It was very delicious 🤤. Will make it again for sure.    👍. Thanks for sharing your recipe.   

  6. I had a meaty ham bone and a bunch of chopped vegetables left over from a dinner so I decided to give this a try. I skipped the bay leaves and thyme (I don’t care for them) and replaced most of the water with chicken broth and onion soup. It turned out quite savory and thick but as I had planned to freeze most of it, it was much easier to store that way. It can easily be thinned with water for future meals.

  7. Made several times! Love it

  8. Delicious! And easy!  I made mine in the crockpot so it was effortless.  Hands down beats anything that comes in a can!  My family loved it.

    We had ham for Easter so I had a handy ham bone and extra ham that were just looking for some place to go.  This was the perfect recipe for those leftovers!

    The recipe made enough for me to freeze for later.  That’s a win – win.

    • I’m sooo happy that you loved it! The fact that you’re freezing some for later is the BEST 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I appreciate it so much! 🙂 -Stephanie

  9. This is how I’ve always made it and nothing compares. Plus all in one, no soaking rinsing etc. simple and a time saver.
    One note- Lid on to keep soup thinner, lid off to reduce and thicken. Thanks for your detailed recipe, I needed a quick refresher

  10. This is a great recipe! I would like to add an additional ham bone substitute. We don’t eat beef or pork so I used smoked turkey drumsticks. Lots of flavor and meat!

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