Classic Split Pea Soup

Classic split pea soup recipe

The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 45 mins
Total: 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
106 Calories
1g Fat
18g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 106
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 375mg 8%
*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 chopped onion

  • 1 large dried bay leaf

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup chopped carrot

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled, or finely chopped ham, for garnish

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.

    Ingredients for classic split pea
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cover dried peas with 2 quarts of water.

    Peas in Dutch oven
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  3. Bring the peas to a boil; boil gently for 2 minutes.

    Bring peas to boil
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic 
  4. Set aside to soak for 1 hour.

    Set aside to soak
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  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.

    Add hambones
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  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.

    Remove from heat
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  8. Simmer the pea soup gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Simmer pea soup
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  9. Taste and add salt, as needed. Remove the bay leaf.

    Taste and add salt
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  10. If desired, top servings with reserved finely chopped ham or crumbled cooked bacon.

    Top with chopped ham
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for split pe soup
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  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.

    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  3. Combine the ingredients (except salt and garnish) in the slow cooker.

    Combine ingredients in slowcooker
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  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.

    Cook on low
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  5. Remove the meat from the ham bone and chop.

    Remove meat from hambone
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  6. Return the chopped meat to the soup. Taste and season with salt, as needed.

    Return meat to soup
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  7. Garnish servings with some reserved diced ham or cooked crumbled bacon.

    Classic split pea soup
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

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.