Classic Split Pea Soup

classic split pea soup
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 3 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (30)

Split pea soup is classic comfort food. This version is a basic combination of green split peas, ham, vegetables, and seasonings. 

This basic pea soup is cooked on the stovetop, but with just a few alterations, it may be cooked in the slow cooker.  See the tips below the recipe for slow cooker instructions.

If you like a smooth pea soup, reserve the diced ham and blend all or part of the soup in batches* when it's done. Add the ham and heat through.

Top this soup off with a little finely chopped ham, crumbled bacon, or crunchy croutons.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound dry green split peas
  • 2 quarts water or low- or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large dried bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • dash pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Crumbled bacon or finely chopped ham for garnish, optional

How to Make It

  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cover dried peas with 2 quarts of water. Bring the peas to a boil; boil gently for 2 minutes. Set aside to soak for 1 hour.
  2. Add ham bone to the peas, along with chopped onion, garlic powder, marjoram, thyme, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove meat from the ham bone. If desired, put a little finely chopped ham aside for garnish. Dice the meat and return to pea soup with chopped celery and carrot.
  1. Simmer the pea soup gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Taste and add salt, as needed. Remove the bay leaf.
  3. If desired, top servings with reserved finely chopped ham or crumbled cooked bacon.

*The steam from hot liquids can cause an explosion in a blender, so use caution when blending hot soup or other liquids.  Fill the blender about one-third full, and never more than half full. Loosen the cup in the center of the blender lid. Place a folded kitchen towel over the lid and hold it down firmly while processing.

Kitchen Notes

  • Slow Cooker - Omit the soaking time, rinse the split peas, and reduce the liquid (water or broth) to 1 quart. Combine the ingredients (except salt and garnish) in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the peas are tender. Or cook on high for about 4 to 5 hours. If cooking on high, it might be necessary to add more liquid.
  • Remove the meat from the ham bone and chop; return the chopped meat to the soup. Taste and season with salt, as needed. Garnish servings with some reserved diced ham or cooked crumbled bacon.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
75 Calories
1g Fat
13g Carbs
5g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)