Split Pea & Ham Soup (Using the Ham Bone)

How to make split pea soup using the ham bone leftover from your meal.  You can also make this without the ham bone and it turns out delicious as well! 
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Split Pea & Ham Soup is one of the best soups ever, in my opinion, and the secret is the ham bone. Ham bone split pea soup is the pinnacle of split pea soups and it’s probably because you don’t get it that often. All color aside, this is one of my favorite soups in the whole wide world, no exaggeration.

Try my Instant pot split pea soup, it also uses the ham bone!

a white bowl with Split Pea & Ham Soup

Split Pea Soup Using the Ham Bone

Split pea soup just HAS to be made with a ham bone (yes, yes, I know that you can make a vegetarian one, or one without a ham bone but that’s not what I’m talking about here) to be the best split pea soup. That ham bone…and cooking it for hours….oh so good. There’s just something about that slow cooking of a ham bone that gets everything good going in this soup.

It also is the world’s ugliest soup to photograph. I tried, I really did. This post has been updated from years ago and the photos are better, but it’s still a green soup.

a spoon of Split Pea & Ham Soup from a white bowl

Split pea soup is also a pretty darn healthy soup for you, ham bone or not. Those peas are chock full of iron and protein and apparently I hear that vegetables are good for you. So I hear. I know that there is a lot of sodium in this, but when you weigh out the benefits of everything else it’s a pretty guilt free soup.

It’s also what my sister and I fight over at every holiday meal – who gets the ham bone for soup afterwards. That can’t just be my family, right? RIGHT?? ( Lordy, tell me it’s not just us that is weird like that.)

white kitchen cloth underneath a bowl with Split Pea & Ham Soup

Tips & Tricks for Making Split Pea Soup

  • Split pea soup has to be the most unreliable soup ever time-wise, it must be the different peas used, the amount they are dried out, who knows, but it is never the same, even if you use the same amount of peas and water. I cook mine until they are completely dissolved and make a wonderful, creamy soup.
  • I like my split pea soup incredibly thick, so thick you can use bread to eat it instead of a spoon. You might like yours more soupy than I, so at the end feel free to add in more chicken stock until it is the right consistency for you.

Try my rum ham too if you love ham recipes.

Happy Cooking!


Split Pea & Ham Soup (Using the Ham Bone)

How to make split pea soup using the ham bone leftover from your meal.  You can also make this without the ham bone and it turns out delicious as well! 
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 hours
Total Time
1 hour 10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • one 450 grams bag of dried split peas (2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup diced leftover ham this can be removed from the bone
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2-3 bay leaves


Crock Pot Split Pea Soup

  •  Give the split peas a good rinse in a colander, then put everything in your crock pot, peas, celery, onions, carrots, ham and bay leaves.
  • Pour the chicken stock over and stir.
  • Add the ham bone in and nestle into the middle of the soup in the crock pot, making sure that it is fully or mostly submerged into the chicken stock.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. It will all depend on how fast your peas cook, they can be unreliable with the time it takes! I usually look at this as an all day, on low temperature crock pot split pea soup. 
  • When the peas are soft and melt into the soup when stirred, remove the ham bone. If wanted, cut off any excess ham that might be left and mix into the soup. Mix the soup until all of the green peas dissolve into the broth. Serve. 

Stove Top Split Pea Soup

  • In a large stockpot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat to medium high heat. 
  • Fry the onions in the olive oil until soft, then add in the carrots and celery. Fry for another 5 minutes. 
  • Pour in the chicken stock, then add in the split peas, the ham, the bay leaves and the ham bone. Stir to get everything mixed.
  • Cover and simmer on low-medium heat ( you want it to simmer lightly, not boil rapidly) for 90-120 minutes, or until the peas are soft and dissolve into the soup. 
  • Once the peas are ready, remove the ham bone and plate it. Remove any ham on the bone that you want to add to the soup.
  • Stir to make sure that all of the peas are dissolved, then serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values will vary based on types of products used and individual measuring methods.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 487mg, Potassium: 352mg, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2730IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 0.6mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Marilyn Widman says

    This recipe is wonderful.. I usually double it and make a big crockpot full!! If if it needs to be thickened, I add instant mashed potatoes 1/4 cup or so at a time – it thickens it up nicely…

  2. Corinne Humphrey says

    My husband and I love pea soup, we use the dried split green peas instead of the yellow ones, besides that everything is the same. I made some last week oh so good.

  3. Lisa Coburn says

    Making this tonight and want to double the recipe, I notice when I hit the 2x button the amount of split peas doesn’t increase. Is that a glitch or does the amount of peas stay the same for a doubled recipe? Thanks!

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      That’s a glitch, double the peas! I’ll get someone to fix that!5 stars

  4. Janelle says

    Made this today and it turned out great! I only needed 6 cups of broth. I think I might be buying a bone-in ham more often as this was such an easy and delicious recipe! I wonder if this soup would freeze at all, since my crockpot could easily hold a double recipe.5 stars

  5. Gloria says

    I froze my leftover ham bone when making this soup should I let that thaw first or just throw it right into the crockpot?

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      Go ahead and put it in, should work fine. Thanks for trying!

  6. Lauree says

    can i use green split peas instead of yellow – what’s the flavor difference? Love that you are a prairie gal – in my back yard no less!

  7. Nikki says

    Sooooo good!! Sooooo easy! Did the bone in…followed recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a thing! Delish!!! Thank you 🙂5 stars

  8. Barbara says

    Love split pea soup, but I use water instead of chicken broth and it is delicious. Pretty much same recipe, I add black pepper, and don’t miss flavor of chicken broth at all!
    Try it sometime.4 stars

  9. Judy Beaton says

    I made this simplely delicious soup yesterday and hubby said was the best split pea and ham soup I’ve ever made, and he’s one fussy eater.

  10. Linda Becker says

    Karlynn Johnson , I think I love you… the split pea soup was the best I ever had.
    also reading your profile you seem like my kinda girl. best of luck to you ! I will continue to hunt for your receipts ,

  11. Over it says

    Stop looking at them then. Simple really, no is hassling you for your choices.

  12. Carolyn Smith says

    Please send split pea recipe to my email. Don’t know how to pin.

  13. Jill says

    I love how thick this looks, but would you be able to send me (or post) the recipe with the ham bone in it? Is it just as thick as this soup looks? My mother in law had the best split pea soup and she died unexpectedly last year. She made her recipes by throwing stuff in, not measuring. I always enjoyed this soup at the table with her. I tried to ask her to let me know when she was going to make it and I would watch, but I never got the chance to. = (

  14. Carly says

    I’ve made this twice and it turned out beautifully every time! I omitted ham and used a cap of liquid smoke instead and threw in a handful of lentils, too. Delicious!5 stars

  15. Gail Paton says

    It’s like liver, you love it or hate it…I

  16. Esther says

    Hi Karlynn, I’m making this today. I did a batch with Christmas ham bone some time ago and it was soooo good, now I’m trying without the bone. I love my soup crazy thick as well. Thanks for the post and keep up the good work. 

    5 stars

  17. Wanda N. Gillespie says

    Do you think that classic Canadian fare is back bacon poutine and fried dough A.K.A a beaver tail? The pea soup is also a great first course for a more elaborate vegetarian meal or any dinner party for that matter. This is a fabulous satisfying dish that will please any palate and it s Canadian to boot. It does not get any better than that eh?

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