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5 from 13 votes

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Split pea soup with ham is a thick and comforting soup made with dried split peas, smoky ham, sweet carrots, celery, and onion and topped with the best homemade garlic croutons!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6


For the split pea soup

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium carrots diced, divided
  • 3 celery ribs diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 smoked ham hock or ham bone
  • 1 16-ounce bag split peas see notes below
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 ounces ham diced - can use deli ham, cooked ham, etc
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the croutons

  • 3 cups bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


For the croutons

  • Begin by tossing the crouton ingredients together. Spread the croutons out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350f for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted but still chewy on the inside.

For the split pea soup

  • Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-low and add the olive oil along with half of the carrots, and all the celery and onions. Saute until very soft without burning (about 12-15 minutes). Once soft, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Add the ham hock, split peas, bay leaf, low-sodium chicken stock, and water. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot, leaving about 1-inch open. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
  • After 20 minutes of simmering add the remaining carrots and stir to incorporate. Continue to simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, for roughly 60-75 more minutes to thicken and break down the peas.
  • During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the diced ham. If the soup is too thick add a bit of water to thin it out. Conversely, if too thin, just increase the heat and stir frequently while cooking until the soup has reduced and thickened to your liking.
  • Taste test the soup, making sure there are no hard peas. If so, just continue to simmer until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Before serving remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaf. Serve in bowls and top with the garlic croutons. Enjoy!



  • Split peas should be sorted before use.  Discard anything that is not a split pea.  Sometimes small rocks can get through the factory sorting process.
  • Smoked ham hocks add amazing flavor to this soup.  Ham hocks and the diced ham are salty.  For this reason, do not add any salt until taste testing before serving.
  • For a vegetarian option, sub chicken stock for water and omit the ham and ham hocks.  Smoked paprika can be used for a smokey flavor in place of the ham.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  Leftover split pea soup tastes even better the next day!


Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.8g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21.1g | Saturated Fat: 3.7g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 21.7g | Sugar: 9.3g | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 5mg