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
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
75 Calories
1g Fat
13g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 75
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 450mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 5g
Calcium 37mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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. 

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.


  • 1 pound dry green split peas
  • 2 quarts water (or low- or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth)
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 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 celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Garnish: bacon (crumbled, or finely chopped ham)

Steps to Make It

Note: there are two great methods you can use to create this delicious chicken stew: using the stovetop or the slow cooker.

Stovetop Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cover dried peas with 2 quarts of water.

  3. Bring the peas to a boil; boil gently for 2 minutes.

  4. Set aside to soak for 1 hour.

  5. Add ham bone to the peas, along with chopped onion, bay leaf, garlic powder, marjoram, thyme, and pepper, and bring the soup to a boil.

  6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  7. 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.

  8. Simmer the pea soup gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  9. Taste and add salt, as needed. Remove the bay leaf.

  10. If desired, top servings with reserved finely chopped ham or crumbled cooked bacon.

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. When using this method, you can omit the soaking time. Instead, rinse the split peas and reduce the liquid (water or broth) to 1 quart.

  3. Combine the ingredients (except salt and garnish) in the slow cooker.

  4. 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.

  5. Remove the meat from the ham bone and chop.

  6. Return the chopped meat to the soup. Taste and season with salt, as needed.

  7. Garnish servings with some reserved diced ham or cooked crumbled bacon.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.