split pea soup with ham and croutons

Split Pea Soup with Ham

This slowly-simmered split pea soup uses a ham bone (or ham hocks) for a rich, subtly smoky flavor. Don't forget the croutons on top!
Please note that this recipe was developed for standard elevation cooking. We cannot speak to cooking times/results for high elevations. 
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword leftover ham recipe, split pea soup recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 468kcal
Author Amanda Biddle


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 cup diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper , plus additional to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 pound dried split peas , rinsed and sorted
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves , chopped and quantity divided
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup diced ham (1/4-inch dice)
  • Buttery Garlic Croutons , for serving


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter until foaming subsides. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic. Stir in split peas.
  • Add ham bone, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Stir in chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until split peas are cooked down and soup is thickened to desired consistency. (Stir more frequently as the soup begins to thicken and add a little additional stock or water if it gets too thick for your tastes.)
  • Add diced ham during the last 15 minutes of cooking. When ready to serve, remove and discard ham bone and bay leaf, and stir in remaining 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Serve hot with croutons and cracked black pepper.



*As written in the blog post, it's best to taste your ham and stock before starting the soup, as the salt content can vary significantly across brands. If you're using a particularly salty ham, go light on the salt when sautéing the vegetables and season to taste as the soup simmers. 

Ham Bone Substitution:

*If you don't have a leftover ham bone, two smoked ham hocks can be substituted (1-1/2 pounds). They are saltier than a ham bone, so reduce the added salt in your soup accordingly. When you remove the ham hocks from the pot, shred the meat off of the bones and return it to the pot before serving. Discard the bones.


The soup can be stored, tightly-covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days, or frozen for 2-3 months. When reheating (to 160 degrees F), add additional stock, if needed, to thin the soup to your desired consistency. 


Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 1025mg | Potassium: 1183mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 4030IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4.4mg