Split Pea and Ham Soup made extra tasty with ham bone, carrots, and, celery, and onions is the perfect comfort food. Thick, hearty, and flavorful, it’s nutritious as its delicious!
I was clearing the freezer today to make way for my freshly-bought meat when I found a lone ham bone tucked between trays of chicken legs and stewing beef. The bone was from the honey-glazed ham we had for Easter which I bagged and meant to use for soups and stocks but forgot about as new purchases piled on top of the other in the freezer.
With the hottest days of summer upon us, we are definitely quite a ways from soup season but a hearty bowl of split pea and ham soup was impossible for me to resist even in the sweltering heat!
I sauteed a mirepoix blend of onions, carrots and celery as flavor base, threw in the ham bone for a smoky depth and added a potato for additional texture. In a snap, I had ready a scrumptious soup that was both nourishing and comforting.
What are Split Peas?
Split peas are peas that have been dried, peeled and divided into its two cotyledons. The removal of husk and the eventual splitting result to a softer texture and shorter cooking time. In fact, there’s no need to soak split peas prior to cooking as they cook relatively quickly and you can have a pot of soup ready in one to two hours depending on the recipe.
Color can vary from green to yellow depending on the peas’ genotype. While there is no difference in flavor, nutritional content and cooking time, green peas have a slightly sweeter taste than its yellow counterpart.
What is Split Pea and Ham Soup?
Split pea soup is typically made by simmering split peas with sautéed carrots, celery, and onions until tender. Although ham bone and hocks are most commonly used to add meaty flavor, bacon, sausages, smoked turkey legs, and pork riblets are also great choices. You can also always omit the ham for a vegetarian option!
Pea soup is not only hearty and delicious, it’s also a nutrient-dense meal high in Potassium and Vitamin K as well as fiber and protein.
This split pea and ham soup makes a great meal starter or a standalone main dish. Feel free to spruce up your bowl of soup with chopped ham, crumbled bacon or crunchy croutons for another layer of yum! Add a dollop of sour cream to make it extra creamy or a splash of hot sauce to spice it up. Serve it piping hot with your favorite sandwich, tossed salad or crusty bread and enjoy!
Split Pea and Ham Soup
- 1 pound dried split peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 ham bone
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sort through the dried split peas and discard any grit or discolored peas. In a bowl, place peas and enough water to cover. After a minute, remove any peas or skin that float to top. Rinse split peas and drain well.
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Add dried split peas, ham bone, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, skimming off scum that may float on top.
- Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until peas are tender.
- In the last 30 minutes, add potatoes and cook until very tender. Using back of spoon, mash potatoes to help thicken soup.
- Remove ham bone and scrape meat from bone. Chop ham meat and return to pot.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and serve hot.