Hearty Split Pea and Ham Soup – Warm yourself up with this flavorful winter soup. It’s so good, you may have to keep it a secret in order to enjoy those wonderful leftovers!
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for Split Pea and Ham Soup since the inception of Simple Seasonal over 3 years ago and I’m not exactly sure why. It’s one of those recipes that has become a “family recipe” that’s looked forward to by all (except the one-year-old). 🙄 It’s so popular that I try not to let anyone else in the family know when I’m making it, lest everyone decides to “pay a visit” and eat my leftovers. 😉
Every Christmas and Easter I buy a smoked honey ham when I can get one at a good price. Mr. Simple Seasonal and I then have a fancy ham dinner with the kids and then we feast on the leftovers in the form of ham sandwiches, omelets, and homemade soups. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, this soup is the whole reason I cook the ham in the first place. It’s so hearty, savory and satisfying. And the most important leftover? The ham bone, of course!
Now onto the method of cooking split pea soup. Knowing what the heck to do with your ham bone is the hardest part of this recipe. If you’re considering making this soup and you’re new to cooking with a ham bone, then check out the photo of how I trimmed mine above. It’s actually super easy to do. You just need to trim the excess bits off of it with a knife and then plop the bone into the pot, but try not to make a splash!
I prefer to make my split pea soup in a stock pot on the stove. That way, I can sauté and sweeten the vegetables before adding the split peas and making the stock. If you’re in a pinch for time, however, this recipe is also perfect for throwing into a slow cooker. With that in mind, I’ve included both stove top and slow cooker directions on the recipe card below.
Since this is my first blog post of 2018, here’s to wishing you and yours a warm start to the new year. I hope it’s filled with plenty of yummy meals shared with the ones you love. Happy New Year from Simple Seasonal!
- 3 Tbsp salted butter
- 2½ C carrots cut into coins
- 2 C chopped sweet yellow onion
- 1½ C coarsely chopped celery
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp dry parsley
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 hearty or lightly trimmed ham bone (see picture in blog post)*
- 1 24 oz bag of rinsed and sorted dried green split peas**
- 9 C water
- 1½ C peeled and diced yellow potatoes
- 1½ C diced ham
- Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a stock pot and then add the carrots, onion, and celery and cook for 3 minutes. Next, add the garlic, parsley, and black pepper and cook for 1 more minute. (This step adds a nice sweetness to the vegetables, but if you're making your soup in a slow cooker, just dump the ingredients into the cooker and skip sautéing the vegetables.)
- Add the ham bone, split peas, and water to the pot and stir to evenly combine the vegetables and split peas. Cook the soup at a simmer for 2-2½ hours. Stir the soup periodically and scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent burning. The soup can also be cooked in a slow cooker on high heat for 4-5 hours, or on low heat for 8-10 hours. Midway through your cooking time, add the potatoes to the pot so that they don't become too soft. The soup is done when the split peas are soft and breaking apart and the ham is falling off the bone.
- The last step is to remove the bone from the pot and any gristle that may have fallen off of it. Stir in 2 C of diced ham, bring back up to a simmer, and then remove the soup from the heat. Serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
**When sorting the dried green split peas, remove any shriveled, brown, or black peas. Some peas will be a little lighter in color than the others and this is fine.