If you asked me 5 years ago if I would ever eat, let alone enjoy, Split Pea and Ham Soup I would have definitely said no. However, that all changed when I was visiting a friend right after Easter a few years ago.

She had used her leftover ham and ham bone to make this creamy soup that I had never seen before. And to be quite frank, it didn’t look appetizing at all.

When she offered the soup as a meal, I was hesitant to try it. Although she promised that I would love it, I had my serious doubts.

But after my first bite, I was honestly shocked. It was a delicious, creamy soup that had excellent flavor and chunks of ham scattered throughout. It didn’t taste like peas at all!

Ever since then, I use my leftover ham and ham bone from Easter and Christmas to make this soup. And best of all, it freezes well so you can enjoy it now and later!

split pea and ham soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup

*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Carrots peeled and diced
  • Celery
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Dried split peas
  • Ham bone
  • Bay leaf
  • Dried thyme
  • Water
  • Leftover Diced Cooked Ham
leftover ham
Leftover diced ham ready to be made into Split Pea and Ham Soup

Instructions

Before getting started making your Split Pea and Ham soup, you must first rinse, sort, and drain the bag of split peas. Do this by opening the bag and placing the peas in a colander.

Then run cold water over the peas while you mix them with your hand. Be sure to pick out any peas that look bad and any dirt or small stones that may have been harvested along with the peas.

Let the peas drain while you dice the onion, carrots and celery. Now that all the ingredients are prepared, it is time to get the soup cooking!

rinsed split peas
Be sure to sort, rinse and drain your split peas before adding them to the soup.

In a large pot over medium heat, add the unsalted butter. Once the butter melts add diced onions, carrot and celery to the pot.

Then season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. It is important to remember that both the ham bone and the diced ham are naturally salty.

Therefore, be cautious on how much salt you add at the beginning of the cooking process. Remember, you can always add more salt once the split pea and ham soup is served, you just can’t take it out if you add too much.

Continue to saute the vegetables until tender, which will take approximately 6-7 minutes.

Once the veggies are slightly softened, add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, or just until the garlic becomes fragrant.

saute veggies
Saute the vegetables until soft and tender.

Deglaze the Bottom of the Pot

Next add the chicken stock and using a wooden spatula deglaze the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.

Then stir in the rinsed and drained split peas, ham bone, bay leaf, and the dried thyme. Stir the mixture and then add water and stir again.

Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the peas begin to break down the soup will thicken and will require more stirring.

ham bone in split pea soup
Add the ham bone directly into the soup and allow it to simmer until the peas are cooked through.

Continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached, adding more water as needed. Add the diced ham to the split pea soup during the last 10 minutes of cooking to heat through.

Remove the ham bone and bay leaf and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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split pea soup

More Leftover Ham Recipes

Split Pea and Ham Soup

How to make creamy and delicious split pea and ham soup using leftover diced ham and the ham bone.
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound dried split peas rinsed and sorted
  • 1 leftover ham bone
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted add onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Saute vegetables until tender, approximately 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.
  4. Stir in the rinsed and drained split peas, ham bone, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the water and stir.

  5. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer (uncovered) for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. When peas begin to break down the soup will thicken and will require more stirring. Continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached, adding diced ham during the last 10 minutes of cooking to heat through.
  6. Remove the ham bone and bay leaf and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Split Pea and Ham Soup – A Delicious Leftover Ham Recipe
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