Cozy up to a bowl of this hearty Split Pea Soup! Sweet split peas are cooked with tender ham, fluffy potatoes, and a delicious seasoning blend for a nutritious and flavor-packed dinner.
This is the best split pea soup recipe! It’s packed with good-for-you ingredients and tons of flavor.
What is split pea soup?
Split pea soup is soup made with split peas, broth, veggies and, often, ham. Split peas are field peas that are dried, peeled, and split in half for cooking. They come in both yellow AND green. Yellow split peas are milder in flavor while green split peas are slightly sweeter. Today, we’re using green split peas.
The base of this soup – onion, celery, and carrot – is also called a “mirepoix”, buy it pre-made to save prep time!
- Unsalted Butter – used to cook the veggies and adds a rich, buttery flavor.
- Yellow Onion, Celery, and Carrot – the classic soup veggie blend.
- Garlic – gives the soup that subtle rounded, nutty flavor.
- Salt, Pepper, Paprika, and Dried Thyme – a simple seasoning blend that adds so much flavor with just the right amount of sweet and spicy.
- Chicken Broth – the base for the soup. Adds flavor and creates the perfect consistency.
- Split Peas – use dried green split peas for a sweet flavor and amazing texture.
- Ham – adds a slightly smoky flavor and chewy texture.
- Bay Leaves – add a subtle minty, earthy flavor that enhances other flavors.
- Potatoes – use Yukon gold potatoes for their creamy and fluffy texture.
How to make
This split pea soup is SO easy to make and requires just 30 minutes of prep!
- Melt butter in a large stockpot then cook onions, celery, and carrots with seasonings.
- Stir in chicken broth, split peas, ham and bay leaves then simmer for an hour.
- Stir in potatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes then serve and enjoy!
Do split peas need to be soaked before cooking?
Nope! Although we’re using dried split peas, they cook and soften in the chicken broth as the soup simmers so no need to pre-cook in this recipe.
Is split pea soup healthy?
Yes! This split pea soup recipe is packed with nutritious veggies, iron and zinc from the split peas, and protein from the ham.
One hearty bowl has about 450 calories, 17 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbs, and 29 grams of protein.
I LOVE this split pea soup recipe as-is but here are some variation ideas if you’re looking to switch things up.
- Add more veggies. Mix in cauliflower, broccoli, kale or spinach, etc.
- Use a different meat. Try throwing in some bacon, or use ground beef, shredded chicken or turkey.
- Make it creamy. Add a splash of whole milk or half-and-half for a creamier broth.
- Add a grain. Try serving this over quinoa, rice, or barley.
- Make it vegetarian. Leave out the ham and sub the chicken broth for veggie broth.
- Heat it up. Make it spicy with a dash of cayenne pepper or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Make it cheesy. Stir in parmesan, feta, or goat cheese for a cheesy flavor twist.
What to serve with split pea soup
This soup is packed with good stuff so it’s delicious on it’s own or topped with croutons. However, I do love bulking my meal up with a couple of side dishes too!
- French Baguette or your favorite crusty bread
- Turkey Bacon Bravo Sandwich
- Mashed Potatoes
- Pear, Blue Cheese, Candied Pecan Salad
- Roasted Veggies
How to store
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or warm on the stovetop.
Split Pea Soup
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups diced yellow onions about 1 large
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery about 1 small bunch
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrot about 3 - 4 large
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 (32 oz) cartons chicken broth
- 1 (1 pound) bag dried green split peas
- 1 pound ham cubed into small chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups peeled and cubed Yukon gold potatoes approximately 1/2 - 1 inch cubes
- Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Add in onions, celery, carrot, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme.
- Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Stir in chicken broth, split peas, ham, and bay leaves.
- Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Stir in potatoes, then re-cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Taste and re-season if necessary, then enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.