Split Pea and Ham Soup


01 Jan Split Pea and Ham Soup


Happy New Year! For those who aren’t hung over and are eager to eat, I’m keeping my resolutions and serving you up a healthy non-dessert. And if Blogger does its job, the post will go up before 9:00 a.m.

No, I’m not up early making the most of the morning sun. I took this shot a few days ago using my new light box. While I’m not entirely happy with it, the alternatives were washed out by my overly rambunctious flash or so grainy you couldn’t tell where the bowl ended and its contents began. Let us mark this down as Light Box Attempt #1 and see how far I advance over the next few months. (If anyone uses a light box and has suggestions, please feel free to post your tips in the comment section!)

Unlike the photo, the soup was a success. Pure comfort food with lots of fibre and a casual attitude. And it’s economical, too. I used the remains of the bone-in ham we served Christmas breakfast and spent a whole 99 cents on a pound of split peas.

While I made it on the stove top, you can do a slow cooker version. If you plan ahead and pre-soak the peas, it only takes a few minutes of prep time. And since it’s practically a meal in itself, some granary bread and a green salad turn this into a dinner that won’t break any resolutions (unless you’re vegetarian, in which case I urge you to try my Black Bean Soup instead.)

So, pat yourself on the back for starting the year with some from-scratch soup. I’m going to go fiddle with my light box.

Split Pea and Ham Soup
Printable Recipe

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 pound green or yellow split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 bone from a ham with lots of meat still on it (I used what was left of the Christmas ham)
  • 4 slices ham (with lots of fat) sliced from a ham bone
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped (enough onion to equal the carrots and celery together)
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 10 cups cold water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • fresh pepper


  1. Cover the peas in cold water and let sit overnight. (Alternatively, you can bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit 1 hour.) Drain and rinse. Set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, saute the ham in its own fat. When browned, remove the ham.
  3. In the ham fat, gently saute the onions, carrots and celery until soft.
  4. Add the ham bone, peas, potato, cold water, bay leaves and thyme. (At this stage you can simply put all the ingredients in a crockpot and set on low for 6 to 8 hours.)
  5. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered 2 hours or until the peas are soft.
  6. When the peas are cooked, remove the ham bone and bay leaves.
  7. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
  8. Slice the meat from the bone in chunks and return the meat to the soup.
  9. Top with freshly grated black pepper to taste. We found you didn’t need to add any salt.

Related Post

  • BBS
    Posted at 23:19h, 01 January Reply

    I think this one’s a keeper for the slow cooker. Do you need to pre-soak the peas if you use the slow cooker?

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 00:33h, 02 January Reply

    BBS, nice to hear from you again.

    No, you don’t need to pre-soak the split peas if making the soup in a slow cooker. While it cuts down on cooking time for the stove top method, you’ll find many slow cooker recipes still recommend pre-soaking legumes. Why? To cut down on their gas-producing properties. However, if you eat legumes regularly, this isn’t an issue.

    Let me know how your soup turns out if you try it.

  • Culinary Arts
    Posted at 10:48h, 03 January Reply

    Great comforting soups, and its economical too, I think we can also prepare this with vegetables.


  • thefukases
    Posted at 23:08h, 12 January Reply

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I made the soup and it was fantastic. Such a great way to wrap up the Christmas season. Even better- all the ingredients were available here in Japan.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 13:29h, 13 January Reply

    Fukases, thanks so much for trying the soup and letting me know how it turned out. I’m glad you liked the results and were able to make it without trouble.

    I have friends who taught in Japan and you could never predict what foods would or wouldn’t be available in different regions.

  • Emily
    Posted at 12:30h, 11 February Reply

    Is it better to use a slow-cooker or use stove top method for this recipe?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:45h, 11 February Reply

      @Emily, the slow cooker would work just as well as the stove top for a recipe like this. In fact, it might be easier since you can leave it unattended all day.

      Thanks for raising the point!

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