Split pea soup served in a bowl sitting on a table.
Recipes, Savory Dishes, Sides, Soups

Flavorful, Hearty and Easy to Make Split Pea Soup

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Split pea soup has never been easier to make than it is now! This flavorful, hearty split pea soup is perfect to enjoy on a cold night in.

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A Cozy One Pot Recipe

There’s just something about homemade soup that is instantly comforting. It has the ability to warm us up from the inside out and turn even the worst day around. And there’s no soup that is cozier on a cold night than Split Pea Soup!

This infamous green soup is packed with rich flavor from root vegetables and delicious ham. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also a one pot recipe! It’s the perfect simple recipe to serve up that the whole family will love.

Split pea soup served in a bowl sitting on a table.
The perfect cozy recipe to serve up this season!

Craving Split Pea Soup

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of soup when you’re sick or when it’s cold. It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods that can even be good for you too! There are many different health benefits to this soup. The most important ones to note include:

  • Boost Immune System: Split pea soup is rich in root vegetables and herbs that are known to help fight off viruses during cold and flu season.
  • Increased Heart Health: Did you know that split peas can reduce plaque in your blood vessels? Not only that but it can also lower blood cholesterol levels and overall may prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Gut Health: Split pea soup is a great dish for those who suffer from IBS or other tummy troubles. This recipe is high in soluble fibers that your body can easily break down and digest without discomfort.

Along with being a healthy dish, this easy Split Pea Soup recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and most importantly, delicious. Not only will it easily feed the whole family (or give you leftovers for the week), but it also is hearty and filling. In less than an hour, you can have a warm bowl of Split Pea Soup ready to be devoured!

Up close photo of split pea soup with ham, carrots, cheese and thyme.
This soup features crispy ham, grated parmesan and fresh thyme!

The Beginnings of A Wonderful Soup

This recipe starts with one of the most delicious things: ham. It’s one of the ingredients that makes this recipe so flavorful and hearty. We are going to start by crisping up the ham in a large pot or Dutch Oven. This step not only release that delicious, juicy fat that adds so much richness to the soup, it also saves a step later on. First melt the butter in the pot, then add in the diced ham. Cook the ham for a few minutes on medium-high heat to a slight crisp.

I personally love using homemade holiday ham to enhance the flavor of this split pea soup! I have an easy to follow ham recipe that I always bake Christmas Day and use leftovers for recipes like this one. Having a home baked ham and getting to use the leftovers for other dishes truly is helpful! And, with my holiday ham you’ll have an extra flavor boost rather than using store bought ham for this soup.

Next, you will place this ham onto a paper towel lined plate. This allows any extra grease to be absorbed. Now, onto the vegetables! Add a little olive oil to the pot over medium heat and add in your diced onion, celery and carrots. This blend is called a mirepoix; which, is the correct French culinary term referring to the combination of diced onion, carrots and celery sautéed in fat. Here that fat is from not only the butter and oil, but also from the ham. Mirepoix is a foundation for many soups, stews, and other traditional French dishes.

Sauté the mirepoix over medium heat for five minutes until the vegetables have cooked down and are soft. Once soft, go ahead and season with salt and pepper. Next, add in the garlic and cook down for two minutes. We add the garlic after sautéing the root vegetables because the onion, carrots and celery take more time to cook down. Furthermore, adding the garlic in at the same time would most likely result in burnt garlic. And no one wants that!

An Optional, But Helpful Step

After the mirepoix and garlic have been cooked down, we need to deglaze the pot. Deglazing refers to the process of adding liquid to a hot pan to loosen the caramelized bits from the pan. This step adds another layer of flavor to the dish. I like to do this with white wine and stir until all the liquid is absorbed.

Although optional, it’s recommended to deglaze the pot with white wine after the garlic has cooked down for two minutes. A the liquid simmers, you can scrape off any crispy bits stuck to the bottom of the pot- but don’t discard them! These bits are packed with rich flavor. As well, deglazing with a dry white whine softens the vegetables and adds so much flavor to the overall dish.

If you do decide to forgo the wine, I would suggest you opt for deglazing the pot with lukewarm chicken or vegetable broth instead. You only need a little bit, as it’s quickly absorbed. The primary benefit of delegating it scrapping off the caramelized bits to release added flavor into the dish.

Split pea soup with crispy ham and cheese
This soup is truly irresistible!

Making it a Split Pea Soup

It wouldn’t be split pea soup without the peas! Once the vegetables are softened and the pot is deglazed, we get to add in our frozen peas. But why frozen peas and not canned? Well, frozen peas actually have a sweeter taste than canned peas! Plus, they cook down a little slower. Stir to incorporate with the other vegetables before pouring in the chicken broth.

Next up is the ham bone! We add in the ham bone and bring to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer. This helps release the flavors of the bone. You might be wondering, “Do I have to add the ham bone?” While not mandatory, the flavor provided by the ham hone is hard to replicate. If you don’t have a ham bone, you can use bacon or pancetta instead. Next question might be, “How do I find a ham bone?” You can just ask for a ham bone at most butcher counters of your local grocery store!

The final step before allowing the soup to simmer is to add the thyme and bay leaves. Quick tip: tie the thyme sprigs and bay leaves together with a cooking string before adding to the pot. This will make them easier to locate and discard in a later step! With all of that said and done, cover your soup for one hour and simmer on low heat. Occasionally stir every 15-20 minutes, or so. After the allotted time, go ahead and uncover to remove the ham bone, thyme and bay leaves.

Fresh thyme and diced ham over split pea soup
It tastes even more delicious than it looks!

The Final Step

Alright, alright, alright… time to complete this soup! Now that the soup has simmered for an hour, there’s one final step. Our last step will including making a fourth of the soup into a purée and adding it back into the same pot. Puréeing a fourth cup of the soup makes the soup thicker and creamier. This yields the best texture and consistency for our split pea soup.

If you’d like your soup thicker, purée more. If you’d like your soup lighter, skip this part. This is just what I have found works best, but you can try a few options based on your preference. To best purée the soup, you can remove a fourth cup and add to a blender. Or if you’d like a little more puréed, you can use an immersion blender. This is an easy and mess free option!

Perfect Side Dishes

Finally, go ahead and stir in the crispy ham and serve with grated parmesan cheese. We wait to add the crispy ham until the end to prevent it from being puréed. Blended ham is not something on the menu for this recipe!

While Split Pea Soup is excellent on its own, every soup needs something to dip into the warm, savory bowl. Here are a few of my favorites to serve alongside your soup:

  1. Crescent Rolls: These gluten-free crescent rolls are brushed with a garlic butter and stuffed with a creamy cheese blend!
  2. Focaccia Bread: This delicious, gluten-free bread yields the perfect texture and tastes so similar to restaurant-style focaccia that you wouldn’t even know the difference.
  3. Cornbread!d: Cornbread is always a good idea! These gluten-free muffins are the ultimate side dish with an unbeatable, pillow-like consistency.

Or better yet, just serve the soup in a bread bowl! Not only does it make the dish more fun, but there’s nothing better than dipping warm bread into your favorite soup! Use this rustic loaf from Schar as your gluten-free bread bowl.

Side shot of split pea soup with thyme
Looking for the perfect leftover? The flavors of this soup get more delicious each day.

Storing the Soup

Store this Split Pea Soup in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also store it in the freezer for up to four months! That way, you’ll always have a delicious soup on hand for those cold or rainy days when you’re craving something warm.

What If I Want to Make it Vegetarian?

The base of this Split Pea Soup is a Mirepoix, a combination of diced onions, carrots, and celery. This vegetarian base allows us to build off of the aromatic vegetables and create a delicious soup. Luckily, this soup can quickly adapt to be vegetarian with just a few easy changes! Without the ham bone or garnished pieces of ham, it’s already vegetarian. But, we need to make up for those missing pieces. Here’s how we do so:

  1. The ham bone provides an excellent fat to the soup that thickens it and enriches the flavor. To replace that fat source, you can add a half cup coconut milk. The coconut milk adds a touch of sweetness that you can cut by adding more paprika, thyme, and pepper.
  2. I believe that every soup needs a garnish, whether it’s crackers in chicken noodle soup or ham on split pea soup. To replace the garnished ham, use mushrooms instead! I suggest using sliced white mushrooms and sauteeing them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and a dash of pepper. Not only will this add a great texture, but the flavors also pair perfectly with the split pea soup!

Split Pea Soup

Recipe by Arianna LitrentaCourse: Recipes, Savory Dishes, Soups, SidesDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





This easy, one pot Split Pea Soup is packed with delicious flavor that makes it the perfect hearty recipe for a cold night in!


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup cooked ham, diced into 1/4″ cubes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 white onion, diced

  • 4 celery ribs, diced (2 cups)

  • 4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped (2 cups)

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons pepper

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 3-4 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)

  • 4 cups peas, frozen

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • 1 ham bone

  • 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for serving

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Grated parmesan, for serving


  • First crisp up the ham by adding the butter to a large pot or Dutch Oven. Once the butter has melted, add the diced ham. You only need to cook the ham for a few minutes on medium-high heat. Once slightly crispy, use a spatula to remove the ham and set on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the olive oil to the pot over medium heat. then add the diced onion, celery and carrots to the pot.
  • Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables have cooked down. Once slightly soft, season with salt and pepper.
  • Next, add the garlic and cook down for two minutes.
  • Optional: Deglaze the pot with white wine. Use a spatula to scrape any burnt bits from the pot. Stir until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Then, add the frozen peas. stir to incorporate with the other vegetables before pouring in the chicken broth.
  • Add the ham bone, then bring to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, adding the thyme and bay leaves.
  • Cover for one hour and simmer on low head. Occasionally stir (every 15-20min)
  • After the allotted time, uncover and remove the ham bone, thyme and bay leaves.
  • Purée about 1/4 of the soup and add back to the pot. Stir in the crispy ham and serve with grated parmesan cheese & enjoy!


  • Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to five days.

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