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Split Pea Soup

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  • Prep 20 min
  • Total 2 hr 50 min
  • Servings 8
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This classic soup is what cozy tastes like. Hearty, protein-rich, inexpensive split peas simmer with just the right veggies and seasonings, to create a satisfying meal whenever you crave comfort. It is so easy; anyone can make it.
Dried split peas, with an earthy, vegetable flavor, are paired with the perfect amount of onions, celery, and carrot, to make the tastiest split pea soup you will ever have. A ham bone adds not only meat to the soup, but also lends it’s smoky saltiness, so that pepper is the only seasoning you’ll add! We love the variety of textures you get in every spoonful: softened split peas with chunks of ham and slices of carrot—such a delicious concoction to dive into. You are only 6 ingredients away from the best-tasting split pea soup around!
This is what your body craves, when there’s a chill in the air or it is plain cold outside. It is one for the winter dinner rotation or an amazing homemade lunch that warms you from the inside out.
Updated Mar 1, 2024
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How Do You Make Split Pea Soup?

This pea soup recipe is so simple, anyone can make it! For the exact proportions and directions, see the recipe above, but here’s the general skinny on this simple recipe:

Chop and Mix: Dried split peas are stirred together in a big pot on the stove with water, chopped onion, celery and black pepper before a ham bone is added.

No Waste Ham Bone: Wait…what? Is this pea soup with ham bone added? Yes--you can use a leftover ham bone from your holiday meal or get one from your butcher at larger grocery stores. The scraps of ham left on the bone will loosen while the soup simmers, adding a smokey saltiness without needing any extra salt. It’s a terrific way to keep ham bones from going to waste.

Simmer Away: The soup is simmered on the stove until the split peas are tender. No work here—just an occasional stir is all it needs.

Hammy Time: The ham bone is removed, the ham is cut into pieces and added back to the soup with sliced carrots to simmer again until the split peas literally break apart, thickening the soup while the carrots become tender.

It is crazy easy, and so satisfying! Want to make split pea soup in your slow cooker? Here’s our favorite recipe. It is a wonderful way to enjoy green pea soup any time of the year, as it will not heat up your kitchen.

What Can I Serve with Split Pea Soup?

There are so many directions you can go with this split pea ham soup recipe, depending on how hearty you want to make the meal. You can make it a different combination each time you serve it!

Cozy Breads: Our delicious cornbread recipe makes a great match for this soup--with a slather of honey butter or a drizzle of maple syrup, of course! Or make our crusty garlic bread to go along with it.

Tasty Sandwiches: If you want to turn it into an even heartier meal, pair hot, steamy bowls of it with a flavorful sandwich, such as a BLT Sandwich, as the bacon flavor of the sandwich will amplify the smokey-salty flavor of the soup or Turkey Salad Sandwiches. Either one is a match made in heaven!

Souper Salads: Want to fill up with even more veggies? Match the Split Pea Soup with and Ham with a crunchy, colorful salad, like Waldorf Salad or Mandarin Mixed Greens Salad.

The Sweetness of Fruit: Serve up your favorite fruit to round out the meal. Mild-flavored fruits like apples, pears or mango add flavor, texture and color that will complement those of the soup.

How Should I Store Split Pea Soup?

Unbelievably, storing our split pea soup recipe can make it even more amazing! Making it in advance improves the flavor as well as making it thicker. Or you can keep any leftovers for another delicious meal that requires no prep beyond a simple reheat.

Cool It Down: Whatever the reason, it is good to cool it down quickly, to avoid any potential risk for food borne illness. You can do this by ladling the hot soup into small food storage containers. Let it sit uncovered up to 1/2 hour before covering.

Refrigerate It: Cover the containers and refrigerate for up to 7 days.

Freeze It: Cover the containers and freeze it up to 2 months.

Reheating: To reheat either refrigerated or frozen soup, remove cover and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on High (100%) refrigerated soup 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until heated through. If soup is too thick, stir in a little water, until desired consistency. Heat again until heated through; frozen soup: Microwave 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps, or until heated through. Follow the same directions if the soup is too thick.


  • 2 1/4 cups dried split peas, (1 pound), sorted and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ham bone or 2 pounds shanks
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)


  • 1
    In 4-quart Dutch oven, mix split peas, water, onion, celery and pepper. Add ham bone.
  • 2
    Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour 30 minutes or until peas are tender.
  • 3
    Remove ham bone; remove ham from bone. Trim excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • 4
    Stir ham and carrots into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and soup is desired consistency.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Preparing split peas for cooking is easy! Just place them in a colander and pick over the dried split peas to discard any grit or discolored peas. Rinse them to remove any dirt or dust and let them drain.
  • tip 2
    A ham hock or bone pairs perfectly with split peas but so will a smoked turkey leg. Its smokiness seasons the soup as well as ham. Remove meat from bone, chop into smaller pieces and stir into soup with the carrots; continue as directed in recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you sort and clean dried split peas?

Unlike many dried beans and lentils, split peas don’t require any soaking, which makes cleaning them super simple! Place the dried split peas in a colander. Pick through them, removing any shriveled or damaged ones. Any rocks or split peas that are discolored should be removed as well. Rinse them under running water, allowing your fingers to sift through them to be sure and rinse any dirt or dust off those that are underneath. It is good practice to do this just before you plan to cook them, as they can begin to clump together if they are left to sit in the colander for very long. This can make it difficult to separate them for even cooking.

What are other variations of this recipe?

There are a lot of simple swaps or add-ins you can easily do that will use up ingredients you already have on hand or make it your own.

Swapping The Meat: Try one of these options instead of the ham bone:

  • Swap in Smoked Turkey: You can substitute a smoked turkey leg for the ham bone if you like.
  • Leftover Ham: Got leftover ham after a big holiday meal? You can use 1 1/2 cups cut-up cooked or smoked ham in place of the ham bone. Omit Step 3. Taste the soup after cooking—if it isn’t seasoned enough, add salt.
  • Better with Bacon: Cut-up cooked bacon can be added instead of the ham—add as directed for leftover ham.

Make It Golden: Substitute yellow split peas for the regular green split peas in Step 1. Cook for 15 minutes. In Step 3, Add ham and carrots. Cook 30 to 45 minutes or until split peas and carrots are tender.

Make it Chunky: Add diced fingerling, new or red potato, additional chopped celery, and chopped tomato with the carrots.

Herb It Up: Add 3/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves with the pepper.

How Can I Make My Soup Thicker?

You can make split pea soup thicker in a few ways.

Cool It: The easiest is simply to allow it to cool. It will thicken as it cools. If you can make the soup a day ahead, it will be thicker. You can always add additional water to it while reheating, to get it to the thickness you desire!

Cook It Longer: If after cooking, you would like the soup to be thicker, simply cook it a little longer uncovered. More of the water will evaporate, making the soup thicker, however, the carrots may get exceptionally soft with this method.

Stir in Pureed Cooked Veggies: Stir mashed potatoes or cooked, mashed cauliflower or butternut squash into the soup until hot. This will thicken it while it also may change the flavor slightly.


170 Calories, 2 g Total Fat, 17 g Protein, 33 g Total Carbohydrate

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
2 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
15 mg
30 mg
690 mg
Total Carbohydrate
33 g
Dietary Fiber
13 g
17 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 3 Vegetable; 1 Very Lean Meat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Nothing beats the flavor of homemade soup, where all you add is goodness! It is easy to make, easy to make ahead (which makes it taste even better) and reheat for quick meals. For more delicious soup recipes, from broths to cream soups, meatless to slow-cooker, check out our impressive collection of soup recipes next.
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