Ham Bone Split Pea Soup

This post has been updated for recipe and photos since its original publication in 2014.

If you love homemade split pea soup, this green pea soup recipe will be your new favorite. Ham Bone Split Pea Soup uses a handful of fresh vegetables and a leftover ham bone for a whole pot of easy split pea soup that’s ready in just over an hour.

I was sauteing mirepoix and garlic in a Dutch oven.

I had misgivings about putting this green pea soup recipe on the blog.  Not because of any flavor issues — but let’s face it — homemade split pea soup — that particular shade of green — doesn’t inspire you to devour bowl after bowl.  No, really it’s the aroma that gets you and keeps you coming back.  And of course, the taste!  This is the way my Mom makes it.

I am adding a leftover ham bone, bay leaves, and fresh thyme to the pot.


I am adding the dried split peas to the Dutch oven.

So everyone put on your rose colored glasses and go with me on this.  Homemade split pea soup is one of the homiest one-pot meals out there.  Yes, chicken soup is good for the soul, but THIS is good for everything else.

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I was covering the ingredients with fresh water.

This  recipe is one of those stick-to-your-ribs wonders that’s rich and satisfying — warming you from the inside out.  Plus, it goes great with a grilled cheese sandwich, or if you happen to have any of those angel flake biscuits left-over from the holidays, break them out, now!

The ham bone split pea soup after simmering for a few hours.

Happily, this  pea soup is easy to make and — it makes a lot! This meaty potage gets it’s creamy mouth-feel from those little split peas, which just dissolve into the broth.  And by broth, I mean the ham bone and water.  Split peas and lentils are the two legumes that don’t actually need an overnight soak or extensive cooking times, consequently, I always have a bag of each on hand for quick, easy, satisfying meals.

I was adding ham to the soup (that I picked from the bone).

The key to this soup is the ham bone.  It flavors the broth and provides body and mouth feel to the soup. As the ham bone simmers with the other ingredients, it releases natural gelatins that turns this soup into a jello-mold if you chill it overnight in the fridge.  You know what I’m talking about.  But just heat it up and it returns to that thick, savory amalgam.  Man, is it good.

A cup of split pea soup with ham and vegetables.

Ham bone split pea soup is so good, you’re gonna want to make a baked ham, just so you can use the bone for a homemade split pea soup.

More Ways To Use Dried Peas:

A larger bowl of soup with chunks of ham and carrots.


More easy bean soups:

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A bowl of pea soup with chunks of ham.
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3.81 from 279 votes

Ham Bone Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup with ham is one of the easiest and most delicious, satisfying soups.  A ham bone is essential for flavoring the broth and adding body to the soup.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword bean soup, ham bone, soup, split pea
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6


  • 12 ounces dried split peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 leftover ham bone
  • 4 sprigs thyme leaves tied with kitchen string
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups cool water – or more if soup gets too thick
  • 1 ½ cups ham pulled from the bone and shredded into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery. Saute for five minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add the ham bone, peas, water, thyme and bay leaf. Stir and cover. Heat to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.
  • Simmer for one hour or until peas have broken apart and soup is thick. Remove ham bone and discard. Stir in diced ham and heat through.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Serve.


YouTube video


Soup should be thick, but if it becomes so thick that it’s more like a split pea scoop instead of soup — just stir in more water about a cup at a time to thin it out to your liking.


Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5180IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2.8mg

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  1. 5 stars
    I have made this twice. It is amazing. The best split pea soup!

  2. 5 stars
    It was delicious. It has been many years since I made split pea and ham soup. I added diced potatoes. Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    Can this recipe be doubled? Would I double all ingredients? I want to share it with family members. Thanks!