Welcome Fall with a Classic: Split Pea and Ham Soup

This soup won’t earn many accolades on it’s appearance and since we eat with our eyes it’s shocking that anyone has ever tried it! It is hard to make this soup look delcious but it sure is delicious tasting. If you aren’t a fan or have never tried it, trust me…it’s thick, smokey, garlicy, hearty, warm and full of flavor. Bonus: it’s so easy to make!

I never would have thought that I liked split pea soup but when I made it using this recipe for the first time years ago I was hooked. I’ll be honest, the smell just after you simmer the plain split peas isn’t the most appealing; it’s when it all comes together, sauteed veggies with the smoked ham and the peas start to thicken up and take on all the delicious flavors, that you will want to dive right in and eat.

I make it at least once a year, usually after Easter, but then I bought a spiral ham a few months ago to make my pinto beans and I knew I wanted to save the bone and leftover meat for this soup. Of course if you have made it you’ll know that it thickens up a ton by the second day, just an fyi.

If you have leftover ham during the Holidays you must try this recipe. My 5 year old LOVED it which was a surprise to me. He really loves “Easter ham” so I think that got him excited. He ate it for 3 dinners in a row! Seriously shocked us all.

Regarding nutrition, you are obviously getting a lot of veggies with the six cups of vegetables that go into the soup, plus the peas are extremely nutritious- high in soluble fiber and a good source of protein and other vitamins/minerals. In my opinion the only negative is the sodium in the spiral ham, but this is your one pot meal and it makes a ton. I cut the salt in half from the original recipe (that called for 1 teaspoon) but feel free to try it with less depending on much ham you use. I also make this seasonally since we don’t often have spiral ham in the house.

I can’t vouch for the flavor without the ham because honestly it’s one of my favorite parts of the soup 😉

Split Pea and Ham Soup
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried green split peas, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 spiral sliced ham bone with leftover meat
  • 3-4 cups cubed ham (or remaining leftovers)
  • 2 quarts water
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  1. Place 2 quarts of water and split peas in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic in oil over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add split peas to soup pot. Then add ham bone, cubed ham, 2 quarts water, salt, pepper and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove lid and continue simmering until desired thickness.
  4. Using a spoon scrape off any remaining meat from ham bone and remove ham bone from pot. If too much meat remains just remove bone to cutting board to chop meat. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
This soup freezes wonderfully. Just make sure to cool first in refrigerator.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6-8 servings


For more delicious fall soups check out my other soup posts

Creamy Tomato Soup 
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Southwestern Chicken Soup 
Hearty Vegetable Soup
Simple Chicken Tortilla Soup


I got a workout coming your way and a fun Halloween treat. Come back and visit soon!

Question: Are you a fan of split pea soup? What is your favorite soup?

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  1. says

    Yes please!! This soup looks fabulous, and very pretty too for a split pea soup :-) I just made summer squash and corn soup last night from a recipe in Cooking lIght-Highly recommend! I also love Chicken Tortilla and Potato Leek. It’s still hot in San Diego {remember those hot days in September??}, but hopefully we’ll have more soup weather soon!

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      Thanks Danielle, I agree. Luckily we have nice fall temps here in WA so I will be making lots of soups. Hope you enjoy this one!

  2. Nancy says

    I am making this now. I used odds and ends from the veggie tray ( leftover chopping scraps) to make a homemade vegetable broth to use instead of water. I also added a handful of rice to help thicken the soup a little early. Smells great! Thanks for the recipe. Great way to use up holiday ham.

  3. Allison J says

    Thank you for the recipe! I followed your recipe to use up my leftover Christmas ham. It was delicious and my children loved it, too!

    A note to Roberta, I thought the soup wouldn’t thicken but it did after I let it simmer for an hour (without the lid) once it was all constituted together.

    Thank you again, and please keep the recipes coming!

  4. says

    Hi! I love this soup! I’m doing a new challenge with eating and have to keep track of nutritional facts. Do you by chance know the calories/fat/carbs/proteins in this recipe? I think the hardest part is figuring out the ham component for me. Thanks!

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