Hearty Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup -

Split Pea and Ham Soup is a traditional French Canadian soup anyone can make using simple ingredients. It’s the perfect way to use up leftover ham! Choose between either slow cooker or stove top methods. 

Make use of meaty leftover ham bones by making this comforting classic Split Pea and Ham Soup. It only takes a few really simple ingredients to whip up this hearty French Canadian classic. Leave it as a chunky broth based soup or blitz it up to create a velvety puréed soup…just don’t forget to add extra ham at the end! Lastly, serve it with a side of hot buttered Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread then finish on a sweet note with my grand-mère’s traditional Maple Fudge (Sucre à la Crème).

Split Pea and Ham Soup - vertical overhead shot of a bowl of soup with ham, carrots, and onions.

My Favourite Leftover Ham Recipe

As I thrifty cook, I can’t stand to let food go to waste. For me, making Split Pea and Ham Soup is as fulfilling as cooking an entire Easter dinner. I always look forward to slow cooking this soup all afternoon because it just smells so amazing! 

I’ll never forget the one Easter that my family took over the clean up portion of the meal. They were so thorough in their cleaning that they mistakenly threw the ham bone away! I make it a point now to remind the clean up crew not to waste the bone…and they happily oblige because they love this soup as much as I do. 

Split Pea and Ham Soup - close up of a bowl of soup with ham, carrots, and onions.

What are Split Peas?

Split peas are dried field peas which have been peeled and split either by machine or by hand. These pulses come in green and yellow varieties and are commonly used in many cuisines throughout the world. Dried split peas are economic, filling, nutritious, and have a long shelf life. 

However, if they seem to be taking longer to cook than expected it may be because they have been in your pantry for a while. Don’t fret, they will eventually cook down, though you may need to add more water to get the job done. 

Unlike beans, split peas do not need to be soaked overnight. Just give them a quick rinse and sort through them to make sure there are no stray pebbles.

Split Pea and Ham Soup - A bowl of satin smooth green split pea soup topped with ham.

Traditional Split Pea and Ham Soup

Traditionally, Québécois pea soup (Soupe aux pois) was made with yellow split peas, salt pork, and herbs. My version is maybe a bit different because it includes onions, celery, and carrots as well. 

Split Pea and Ham Soup - A bowl of satin smooth green split pea soup topped with ham.

Split Pea Soup Around the World

There are so many other variations of Split Pea Soup and most include some sort of pork whether it’s salt pork or ham.

  • Britain, Split Pea Soup is named London Particular after the dense yellow smogs of the early twentieth century.
  • Germany was the first to offer Erbswurst, an instant pea soup ‘sausage’ with beef fat around 1867. It was manufactured by Knorr right up until December 2018. It is often served with sausages and dark bread.
  • Swedish pea soup is made with yellow peas cooked with pork and herbs. It’s served with mustard and extra herbs (such as marjoram and thyme), pancakes with jam, and warm Swedish liqueur called punsch
  • Finland serves a green pea soup with accompanying pancakes or a festive pastry during Shrove Tuesday festivities. 
  • Norway’s version of pea soup includes potatoes, carrots, and veggies and is served during springtime and Easter.
  • In the Netherlands, Pea Soup is called snert and it includes many vegetables, herbs, and often, potatoes. It can be served with slices of smoked sausage, bacon, or small cubes of lard. The Dutch eat it in the winter, served alongside dark bread or pancakes.

Split Pea and Ham Soup - A bowl of soup with ham, carrots, and onions with a soda bread in the background.

How to Make Split Pea and Ham Soup

Begin by placing the ham and ham juices in a large stock pot. Next add the celery, onions, carrots, and dried split peas. To this, add enough water to cover the ham bone. Throw in some bay leaves, fresh thyme (if using) and season with freshly ground pepper (you probably won’t need salt!)

Bring it all up to a slight boil, then let it simmer for 40-60 minutes. Next, remove the ham bone and bay leaves. Test to see if the peas have softened, then either blend the peas using immersion (or vitamix) blender or enjoy as a brothy soup with more texture. Lastly, add extra left over sliced ham or fresh herbs you may have. Easy peasy.

Split Pea and Ham Soup - A bowl of satin smooth green split pea soup topped with ham.

Is Split Pea and Ham Soup Good For You?

Split Peas are dried legumes (pulses) that are high in fibre and low in fat which is great for your digestive system and as protection against heart disease. Furthermore, they are also a good source of Vitamin A, B (and magnesium) with a one cup serving delivering 35% of daily Vitamin A requirements for women (27% in men). 

However, Split Pea and Ham Soup is often high in sodium as it is generally made with smoked or salted pork products. To reduce the amount of sodium, you may choose to use low sodium pork products or refrain from adding extra salt while seasoning the soup. 

Pin Hearty Split Pea and Ham Soup HERE

Split Pea and Ham Soup - Pinterest image showing two bowls of soup with ham, carrots, and onions.

How to Store Leftover Split Pea and Ham Soup

Lastly, this soup is very filling so you will likely have leftovers. Simply store any leftover Split Pea and Ham Soup in the fridge for a few days or freeze in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Gently reheat the soup, thinning with extra stock if it seems too thick. 

Yield: 8 Servings

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup - A bowl of satin smooth green split pea soup topped with ham.

Split Pea and Ham Soup is a traditional French Canadian soup made with simple ingredients. It's the perfect way to use up leftover ham! Included are both slow cooker and stove top directions.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • meaty ham bone
  • 1 pound (450 grams) dried green split peas
  • 2 cups chicken stock (orham juices)
  • 1/2 onion; diced
  • 2 carrots; peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves; minced
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups water (or enough to cover the bone but not overflow the slow cooker)
  • 2 tsp chicken stock paste (if you think it needs it)
  • pepper
  • olive oil (for stove top method only)

Instructions

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

    1. Arrange split peas in an even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.
    2. Add carrots, onions, garlic, and parsley in another layer.
    3. Add bay leaves and ham bone, then cover with ham juices and water. Season with pepper.
    4. Cover and cook until the peas are very soft and the meat is falling off the bone, on high for 5 to 6 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours.
    5. Remove ham bone and separate the meat off.
    6. Purée half of the soup (or all of it depending on if you like a smooth soup) and then add in the ham.

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS

  1. In a deep soup pot, sauté the onion and carrot with olive oil for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes.
  2. Place the ham bone in the soup pot, then add ham juices/stock, water, split peas, bay leaves, and split peas to the pot. Add more water as needed to cover the ham bone.
  3. Cover and simmer until the peas and veggies have softened.
  4. Remove ham bone and separate the meat off.
  5. Purée half of the soup (or all of it depending on if you like a smooth soup) and then add in the ham.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 99Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 265mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Share your dish pic on Instagram or Facebook and tag @dishnthekitchen (or #dishnthekitchen) in your post or story! Rate this recipe and leave a review to share your experience with others!

27 comments

  1. Transplanted Cook

    I agree with your family – ham is a wonderful food! Love the soup. Can you get ham hocks? They’re brilliant – bone + bit of meat – almost specifically designed for soups. They freeze well, too.

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Sure I can! I grew up on ham hocks and sauerkraut…

      Reply

  2. foodisthebestshitever

    Easy peasy :). Love it! Pea and ham soup is my all time fave. My German Nan makes the best I’ve ever tasted… But that’s what Nanas do when it comes to soups and stews 🙂

    Reply

  3. Chandice Probst

    I’ve been looking for this recipe everywhere! My mom used to make it with leftover hambone When we were kids. Thank you so much!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wonderful…I hope you enjoy it and it brings back great memories for you.

      Reply

  4. Veena Azmanov

    Amazing combination, delicious and yummy. Best Dinner time option.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thanks for stopping by Veena!

      Reply

  5. Tami Price

    I love this soup! Perfect comfort food recipe! My whole family went back for seconds! Great job! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great to hear Tami! We had some last night too. It’s like that ham keeps on giving!

      Reply

  6. Jenny Graves

    So comforting, gorgeous soup. It is delicious and easy to make. We love it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It sure is. I make it every time I have a leftover ham bone. Glad you enjoy.

      Reply

  7. Andrea Howe

    Love making this with leftover Easter ham! And so interesting to learn the different variations as well from other countries!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! I was particularly interested in the addition of mustard…I slow cook my ham in honey and mustard so this soup already has this ingredient in it!

      Reply

  8. Amanda

    Love the flavors of this soup! The leftovers are fantastic too

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Gotta love leftovers! This soup is a staple in our home. There’s some in the fridge now!

      Reply

  9. Mama Maggie's Kitchen

    I have here a leftover Ham! What a timing! This Split Pea and Ham Soup loos really delicious and very comforting to have. My husband will definitely love a bowl of this hearty soup.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Perfect!! I hope you both enjoy it!

      Reply

  10. Kelly Anthony

    I love soup any time of the year. There is something so comforting about a warm bowl of soup at the end of the day and this bowl of ham and pea soup is sure to brighten anyone’s day.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So true. And now, with everyone home I find lunchtime much easier to handle when I can just have a batch of soup ready to go.

      Reply

  11. Pam Greer

    This is the only soup I make whenever I have a leftover ham bone! It is so good and pure comfort food!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! It’s got such a nice sweetness and I’m a big fan of the bay leaves in there too.

      Reply

  12. Amanda

    Hearty is right! This soup was so satisfying, and I love the flavor the ham bone added. Plus, it was super easy to put together.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Probably the easiest soup ever, especially when you dump everything in the slow cooker!

      Reply

  13. Aline

    I love this soup!! It’s so hearty and delicious – comfort food at it’s best and perfect for the times we’re living right now!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Exactly. Simple, filling, and comforting. Hope you are well Aline.

      Reply

  14. Jacque Hastert

    We are still having chilly evenings and this is the perfect way to help us up our leftover Easter ham.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes, the evenings are quite chilly but I love them that way.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.