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Split Pea Soup with Ham

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Make this delicious split pea soup with ham with just a few ingredients. After the Holidays I always have ham juice in my freezer along with the meaty ham bone.

It’s soup weather! I love split pea soup and it’s so easy to make. After trying this yummy recipe from scratch I bet you will never be reaching for a can of pea soup again.

Find out how to make this hearty soup that is one of our favorite homemade soup recipes.

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7-Ingredient Split Pea and Ham Soup

Freeze Your Ham, Bone and Juice From The Holidays

Each year for our Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner, or Easter Dinner, we have a large ham. My family looks forward to the recipes that come later. I always save and freeze the ham bone. Then I will dice up some of the leftover ham and freeze it in about 2 cup portions.

When it is time to make hearty soups, it is so easy to add this for a delicious depth of flavor. I save it on purpose for this soup or one of my other soups. this ham and vegetable soup is scrumptious. How about a creamy ham and potato stew, Oh my! They are some of the best soups. The flavor is just amazing and this is true comfort food. Just perfect on a cold day at our house.

Split Pea and Ham Soup Served
Split Pea and Ham Soup Served

This is lentil soup is truly a very simple recipe that uses pantry items and leftover frozen items. It is one of the best split pea soup recipes that I have ever had.

Generally, there are so many things in the oven, I will use the slow cooker to make my Holiday ham. Just add a few ingredients, set it on high and you are all set. If you want to make your ham the same way you can find the ham recipe that includes the ingredients and other useful tips. After dinner, the ham bone goes in the freezer. I also saved a small container of the ham juice and froze that.

When I make dressing during the Holidays, I use celery and sometimes, I don’t use it all. Before it goes bad, I always dice it up and freeze it in 1 cup portions. This recipe is half done and all I had to do it take things out of the freezer.

Family Memories

This is my recipe for Split Pea Soup. Years ago, my father-in-law told me how much he loved my soup.

He swore it was “just like his mother’s.

As we were enjoying the soup, he asked me how I made it. I told him what was all in it. He started complaining that there were carrots or anything else besides the split peas!

I remember thinking how awful that would taste with only water and split peas and how funny it was that he was complaining. Seriously!

Split Pea Soup with Ham Garnish
Split Pea Soup with Ham Garnish

Previous to that day, I diced the carrots and other ingredients and the classic split pea soup that I made had a hearty texture. I love the little bites of vegetables in each spoonful. To me, this is also more eye-appealing.

After the day he made a fuss about me putting in the extra ingredients, I grated used the potato masher to break up the carrots, celery, and onions so they were not visible. If you have a hand blender what is also called an immersion blender, this is a great recipe to use that to make a smoother soup. Of course, it also hides the extra vegetables for those that want the flavor, but don’t want to believe that they are in this simple recipe.

So, when I did this and he could not see the carrots, he exclaimed that he loved the soup! He said, see, just like my mothers.

My husband saw me make the soup. We didn’t say a word, as we both knew I just hid the same ingredients in the soup. We still laugh about this today every time I make this cold weather soup.

Homemade Split Pea Soup

My father-in-law passed over 20 years ago now. However, in his memory, I still kind of hide the ingredients in the soup. I am so lucky to have many good memories.

It is almost a thick stew that is simmered with aromatics until thick and hearty, Just a comforting bowl the has hearty, smoky and a little sweet flavor. So satisfying!

Split Peas are Soft and Pea Soup is Ready
Split Peas are Soft and Pea Soup is Ready

This soup is so full of flavor from the ham and juices. It is just a perfect way to use leftover ham.

WHAT ARE SPLIT PEAS?

Split peas are an actual field pea that is dried.

Split Peas: Are they Peas or Lentils?

Split peas are field peas that are dried, peeled, and split in half for cooking. Split peas come in green peas and yellow peas. Green split pea are sweeter than their more common counterparts, the yellow ones! They’re most commonly used for soup but can also be cooked like beans or thrown into a stew if you want something with added texture to your dish instead of just pureed veggies.

Split peas are a great way to add variety and fiber into your diet. Not only do they cook quickly, but because the pod is split in two before being cooked, there is no need for pre-soaking. Simply rinse them off with water. Making sure to check for any tiny pebbles.

Green Split Peas
Green Split Peas

When you purchase the dried bag of split peas, make sure to put them in a large bowl to check for any little pebbles or anything that does not look like a split pea. Then give them a rinse. You do not have to pre-soak the split peas before you use them.

Quick Split Pea and Ham Soup Preparation

I fill a 5 quart stock pot or a Dutch oven about half full with water.

No need for chicken stock – unless I didn’t have any ham juice. However, since I have the ham juice, it is packed full of flavor. Therefore, I just use water. (If you do not have ham juice, you can use chicken stock. Additionally, chicken bouillon can be mixed with water and this can be used as the flavorful liquid base to cook the lentils).

Add your meaty leftover ham bone, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for about an hour. This adds a depth of flavor to the soup and if you have one, I urge you to use it in this soup. (No ham bone? No problem. You can skip the part of boiling the ham bone and use diced ham in the soup broth. Another option is to use cooked and diced bacon bits to add the smoky flavor).

While the ham is cooking, prep your carrot, onion, and celery.

Check the Dried Split Peas for Tiny Pebbles

Place the dried split peas in a big bowl so you can spread them around to check for any pebbles. In the photos in the recipe, you will see I picked out two little split peas today. Nothing else was found.

After the ham bone has been cooking for the hour, remove it and let it cool. Add the peas and other vegetables to the water. Lastly, add the ham juice, chicken broth, or bouillon and water.

When the ham is cool enough, cut the meat off the bone and dice in small pieces. Add the meat to the kettle.

Adding the Ham to the Split Pea Soup

I generally add 1 or 2 cups of water at this point. Bring the soup to a boil, them cover the pot and turn down the heat and simmer for about 50 minutes until the split peas are soft. Make sure that you stir occasionally.

It is that easy!

Make this Comforting Soup as Thick as You Would Like it

Once the split peas are cooked, you can adjust the soup’s thickness to your preferences. If you find that it’s too thick, add some extra stock or a little water. For a very thick soup, simmer longer. The soup will continue to thicken as it stands. Remember, you can also use a potato masher or immersion blender to blend the ingredients, which will thicken the soup as well.

This is a filling soup that is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of easy meal. It just might become your favorite soup.

Make this Simple Recipe in Slow Cooker

Just cook the carrot, onion, and celery in a skillet on the stovetop until they are translucent. Add to the slow cooker along with the ham bone and ham pieces. If you prefer to add bacon, dice that into pieces and cook in the skillet with the carrot mixture. Add that to the slow cooker. Add the water, ham broth or chicken broth, and dried split green peas. Let cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove the ham bone and cut off any ham yet on the ham bone. Add the ham to the soup mixture and enjoy.

Can you Freeze Split Pea Soup?

Yes, you can. Just place the soup in airtight freezer containers and freeze up to 6 months. When you are ready use, thaw and reheat. This can be reheated on the stove top or the microwave. I generally use the microwave for reheating this soup because I do not have to worry about the soup sticking to the pan and burning.

Split Pea and Ham Soup
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Split Pea and Ham Soup

This soup uses a meaty ham bone and leftover ham juice. So full of flavor and very easy to make this scrumptious soup.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Comfort food, ham, holiday, recipe, Soup
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 171kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Meaty Ham Bone
  • 6-8 Cups Water
  • 2 Carrots peeled and shredded
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Ham Juice
  • 16 Oz. Split Green Peas

Instructions

  • Fill 5 quart pot about 1/2 full of water and add the ham bone. As you can see, I added mine right from the freezer. Boil about 1 hour.
    Boiling Frozen Meaty Ham Bone
  • While the ham bone is boiling, dice the onion, celery, and shred the carrots. Set Aside
    Prepping Carrots, Onions, and Celery
  • Also, check over the dried peas for any little pebbles or anything. Just rinse and sort.
    Sorting and Rinsing Split Peas
  • After boiling the ham bone, remove and set aside to cool until you are able to handle it.
  • Add the ham juice. I had saved some from my holiday ham. It is partially frozen, just enough to slip out of the container.
    Holiday Ham Juice
  • Add the split peas (remember, no need for any pre-soaking), onion, celery, and carrot.
    Adding Ham Juice, Onion, Carrot, Celery, and Split Peas to Soup
  • I use a pairing knife to help clean off the ham pieces from the bone. By boiling the ham, the meat comes off very easy. Dice it into bite-sized pieces and add that to the soup. (I reserve about 1/2 cup for a garnish if I want to be fancy).
  • Bring all the ingredients back to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 1 hour. Until the peas are soft. This photo is after 1/2 hour of cooking.
    Split Pea and Ham Soup after Cooking for 1/2 Hour
  • The split pea soup and ham has been simmering almost 50 minutes. The peas are soft and the soup is ready. Notice how soft the peas are? The carrot, onion, and celery is hardly noticeable anymore as well. It is ready to be served.
    Split Peas after 50 Minutes of Simmering
  • The soup on the photo is slightly thick. I like it that way; however, I will probably add a cup or two of water to the soup so it is a little less thick. I have crumbled a few croutons on top with the few ham pieces. Just Delicious!
    Split Peas are Soft and Pea Soup is Ready

Notes

Make this Comforting Soup as Thick as You Would Like it

Once the split peas are cooked, you can adjust the soup’s thickness to your preferences. If you find that it’s too thick, add some extra stock or a little water. For a very thick soup, simmer longer. The soup will continue to thicken as it stands. Remember, you can also use a potato masher or immersion blender to blend the ingredients, which will thicken the soup as well.
This is a filling soup that is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of easy meal. It just might become your favorite soup.

Make this Simple Recipe in Slow Cooker

Just cook the carrot, onion, and celery in a skillet on the stovetop until they are translucent. Add to the slow cooker along with the ham bone and ham pieces. If you prefer to add bacon, dice that into pieces and cook in the skillet with the carrot mixture. Add that to the slow cooker. Add the water, ham broth or chicken broth, and dried split green peas. Let cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove the ham bone and cut off any ham yet on the ham bone. Add the ham to the soup mixture and enjoy.

Can you Freeze Split Pea Soup?

Yes, you can. Just place the soup in airtight freezer containers and freeze up to 6 months. When you are ready use, thaw and reheat. This can be reheated on the stove top or the microwave. I generally use the microwave for reheating this soup because I do not have to worry about the soup sticking to the pan and burning.

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2142IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

Environmental Information

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