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Homemade Split Pea Soup Recipe

You wanna know something that gets my kids excited? Split Pea Soup.

I know, they’re weird. But it really IS delicious.

I always save my ham bones and make split pea soup with them. I grew up on this recipe, and it’s always a favorite. It’s economical, easy to make, and it goes a long way.

split pea soup

Like I said, I always save my ham bones to use for this, but if you don’t have one you can buy a ham shank at the grocery store. The real deal is better, though, because you can also harvest the meat to add to the soup. This way none of your ham goes to waste, and it also makes for an easy, frugal meal.

You will find split peas with the dried beans. I bought these at my local whole foods mart in the bulk foods section.

First, you’ll rinse about a pound of split peas under cool water and then put them in a stock pot.

Cover with 8 cups of water and heat the peas to boiling.

Boil for a couple minutes and then turn off the heat and let them soak for an hour with the lid on.

While that’s soaking, you can dice your onions and celery.

This is the ham bone that I saved from Easter dinner.

You can see that there’s still a lot of meat left on it. That is just fine because after the soup is done cooking, I’ll harvest that meat and add it back in.

Now, this is where I hitch up my skirt and climb up on my soapbox to tell you that I think pigs should be raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones and allowed to forage on pasture the way they were designed to, and that’s the kind of pork I prefer to buy when possible. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world and we do what we’ve gotta do. Nuff said.

After the hour’s up, you can add your onions and celery and the ham bone to the peas and water on the stove. You can also grind a little bit of pepper in there for good measure — 1/4 teaspoon or so.

Bring it to boiling, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer, covered, for an hour and a half or until the peas are tender.

Meanwhile, you can slice your carrots.

When the peas are nice and tender, remove the ham bone from the pot and pick it over, getting all the good meat off. Careful, don’t burn your fingers! Return the meat and the carrots to the pot.

Bring it to boiling once again, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. I like my split pea soup on the thicker side, so sometimes I’ll simmer a bit longer and leave it uncovered to boil off some of the liquid. Take a little taste and add some salt if you desire. Usually the ham is salty enough, though.

It tastes better than it looks, I promise. Split pea soup looks a little bit like puke (sorry!), but my kids always lap it up like they haven’t eaten all day.

Split Pea Soup
Recipe Type: Soups
Author: Jo-Lynne Shane
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
This hearty soup is perfect for a cold winter day.
  • 1 pound dried split peas, rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ham bone or 2 pounds shanks
  • 3 medium carrots, large diced
  1. Heat peas and water to boiling in a large stock pot. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat and cover.
  2. Meanwhile chop the onion and celery.
  3. After the peas have been soaking for an hour, add the onion, celery, pepper and ham bone.
  4. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour 30 minutes or until peas are tender.
  5. Remove the ham bone from the pot and take the meat off the bone; cut into bit sized pieces.
  6. Stir the ham and carrots into the soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
  7. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the soup is nice and thick.
  8. Serve with crusty bread and butter!

Soup is generally considered a winter food, but because i always make this at Easter time with leftover ham, I feel like it’s a spring dish! For more gluten free recipes, you can check out the Udi’s Gluten Free Community where I’m a community leader!

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10 thoughts on “Homemade Split Pea Soup Recipe

  1. Sounds just like my mom’s except she also adds potatoes. If I wanted to add potatoes would I add them when you say to add the carrots and meat?

  2. Sounds just like my mom’s except she also adds potatoes. If I wanted to add potatoes would I add them when you say to add the carrots and meat? Also, I would assume the recipe would be the same if using yellow peas instead of green?

    1. Yes, I think you could definitely add some very small diced tomatoes at the same time you add the carrots and meat. And I’ve used yellow peas – they work just as well! Good luck!

  3. WOW! Made this soup for dinner after much coaxing from my husband. I tried split pea and ham soup once from a can over a decade ago and it was so gross I’ve never eaten it again! I was reluctant to make this but after my husband confessed how much he loved it and how his mom used to make it for him I had to try! THIS IS DELICIOUS!!! I bought a bone-in ham just for this and cooked it last night using a recipe with a thyme glace ( ) and saved the juices to add to the soup. OH WOW! I can’t wait for dinner 🙂 Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. It’s sure to become staple in our household.


  4. I made this once and it was just fabulous! I have made it twice since and my peas are in pieces, I can’t figure this out

  5. I cook pea soup all the time using various recipes from the internet, being a bit creative using my instincts as I remember how my Mom used to make it. Unfortunately, she never left a recipe. But it was one of our family]s favorites when we were growing up. She used to use hot dogs instead of ham. We;re Jewish and didn’t eat a lot of pork. So, using your recipe, I added turkey bacon, slices of field roast dogs (veggie), and, really going over the edge, smoked salmon. I like the way you’ve written and described your recipe and preparation stages. By the way, I never thought of pea soup looking like “puke”. That almost spoiled the wonderful aromas in the air as the pot is simmering. However, I’ll forgive you.I guess being a nature lover, I’ve always loved getting my hands in “yucky” earthy stuff!

  6. Awesome recipe! My split pea soup doesn’t seem to thicken up until it’s cooled. I hope leaving the lid off for awhile helps. 

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