Homemade Split Pea Soup is a hearty, comforting soup featuring tender split peas, savory ham and aromatic vegetables! Serve with some crusty bread to soak up the flavorful, smoky broth!
Why This Recipe Works
Filling & Flavorful: This split pea soup recipe is both filling and super flavorful! The split peas offer lots of protein and nutrients and cook up perfectly in the chicken broth. The smoked ham adds a ton of flavor but is not necessary to make this an absolutely delicious and hearty soup!
Better Homemade: We all know that homemade is just better. This classic split pea soup is no exception! Using fresh, aromatic vegetables and and savory seasonings, this is a homemade soup that you won’t be able to get enough of!
- Vegetables: Onion, Celery, Leek and Garlic are the vegetables that start building lots of flavor for this soup right from the beginning! Make sure to clean your leek well before slicing it.
- Seasonings: Sweet Smoked Paprika, Salt, Pepper, Bay Leaves and Thyme Leaves add loads of flavor here. The sweet smoked paprika adds to the smoky flavor that the ham lends. If you prefer a vegetarian soup, skip the ham and add a little bit of extra paprika for that smoky flavor!
- Chicken Broth: I used a combination of chicken broth and water to make up the liquid in this soup. You can use vegetable broth to make sure that this soup is vegetarian if you prefer.
- Yellow Split Peas: Dried yellow split peas work perfectly here. They will soak up some of that broth and become perfectly tender!
- Smoked Ham: I added some shredded smoked ham for added flavor and protein. You can skip the ham for a vegetarian split pea soup!
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice brightens the flavor of the soup and offers some acidity. You can add this to taste!
- To serve: Top it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley to serve!
Here’s How to Make It
Step by Step Instructions
- Sauté the Veg: Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a large lidded saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, leek and a pinch of salt before cooking gently for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and just starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and paprika, and cook for a minute or two more, until aromatic.
- Add Additional Ingredients: Stir in the broth, water, split peas, bay leaves, thyme, a little more salt, and some pepper. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Add the lid and reduce the heat to low. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.
- Remove Bay Leaf: Remove the bay leaf and add the ham. Return the lid to the pot and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Add Lemon: Just before serving, season to taste with more salt, pepper and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Add the rest of the lemon juice, bit by bit, if you think the soup needs a little more brightness and acidity.
- Serve: Serve in warm bowls topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, and a little more shredded ham, if desired!
- Add any ham that you have on hand! You can add unsmoked ham, with a little bit more added paprika. Or, you can add ham bone and whatever meat is left on it. If not that much meat is left on it, you can add a bit more paprika in that case as well, in order to get that smoky flavor!
- If you want a thicker soup, let it simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes until it is the desired consistency!
- For an even heartier soup, add some diced gold or red potatoes to the mix!
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! To freeze, place in a freezer safe and air tight container. Be sure not to fill the container all the way since the soup will expand when frozen. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the fridge before heating.
Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Asparagus Parmesan Soup
- Lasagna Soup
- Best Easy Vegetable Soup
Split Pea Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown or white onion - diced
- 2 celery ribs - diced
- 1 leek - finely chopped
- salt - to taste
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ¼ tsp sweet smoked paptrika - to taste
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb dried yellow split peas - picked over and rinsed
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- cracked black pepper - to taste
- 1 ½ cups shredded smoked ham
- juice of 1/2 lemon - to taste
- extra virgin olive oil - to serve
- chopped parsley - to serve
- Heat oil over a medium high heat in a large lidded saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, leek and a pinch of salt before cooking gently for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and just starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and the paprika, and cook for a minute or two more, until aromatic.
- Stir in the broth, water, split peas, bay leaves, the thyme a little more salt and some pepper. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Add the lid and reduce the heat to low. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
- Remove the bay leaf and add the ham. Return the lid to the pot and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, season to taste with more salt, pepper and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Add the rest of the lemon juice, bit by bit, if you think the soup needs a little more brightness and acidity.
- Serve in warm bowls topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, and a little more shredded ham, if liked.
- To make a vegan version of this soup, use vegetable broth and add more smoked paprika to taste at the end of cooking to capture that smoky flavor.
- To make this soup with a leftover ham bone with a little meat still on it, omit the ham and add the ham bone at the same time as the split peas. At the end of cooking, remove the bone, shred off any remaining meat and add it to the pot.
- Unsmoked ham can also be substituted, just adjust the soup to taste with paprika as per the vegan version to capture that smoky flavor.
- This soup will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, and freezes well; just be sure to not fill the container to the brim as the soup will expand when freezing, and that the ham has not been frozen before.