Bowl of split pea and ham soup with parsley garnish

Simple Split Pea and Ham Soup

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Leftover ham, meet split pea and ham soup.

This simple stovetop soup recipe takes a few hours of simmering until it’s ready, but it’s so easy to prep that the cook time is well worth it!

My split pea soup recipe is gluten free and dairy free, and uses just a few ingredients. This recipe has my favorite way to use ham leftovers!

Bowls of split pea and ham soup with text overlay

Let’s make old fashioned split pea and ham soup with a ham bone

Like many good soup recipes, this one starts with a blend of lightly cooked onion, carrot, and celery (also known as mirepoix). Cook that for 5-8 minutes before stirring in some fresh garlic.

Then, just before adding them to the pot, rinse the split peas in a fine mesh strainer. If you rinse them too early and let them sit before adding them to the soup, you’ll end up with a solid hunk of peas that’ll be hard to split up later.

Add the ham bone, fresh herbs, and broth to the pot. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

And now you get to walk away for about 45 minutes — well, assuming you visit the pot to stir it every 10-15 minutes!

Next, add the ham to the pot and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes more until it’s thickened to your liking.

Remove the ham bones and bay leaves, then serve!

Should I soak the split peas before using them?

No, it’s not necessary to soak split peas before using them in this soup. It’s a good idea to rinse them just before adding them to the pot, though.

If you DO soak your split peas overnight before making this recipe, you’ll be able to cut the cook time by 30-40 minutes.

What to do if your soup is too thin

This soup recipe is very forgiving! It’s easy to fix both a too thin soup or a too thick soup.

If your split pea soup seems too thin, all you’ve got to do is keep simmering, uncovered. That should allow some of the moisture to evaporate out.

Black bowl with gluten free split pea and ham soup and a spoon

What to do if your soup is too thick

Simple: Add water or broth!

I’ll admit, I like a thicker split pea and ham soup. SO thick that it doesn’t readily fall off the spoon. Mmmm!

But it’s still easy to take things TOO far and end up with a solid mass of mashed peas studded with ham and carrots.

If your soup is too thick, all you’ve got to do is add water or broth and stir. Keep stirring until the soup has reached your desired thickness.

How to alter this recipe for a slow cooker

Prefer to make this soup in a slow cooker?

Cook the mirepoix (carrots, onions, and celery) as described in step 1. Then add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 6 hours, stirring periodically throughout the cook time.

Split pea soup tends to be thinner than the stovetop version. You can thicken it by blending a portion of the soup and adding it back to the slow cooker.

More soup recipes to cozy up with

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Black bowl with gluten free split pea and ham soup and a spoon

Split Pea and Ham Soup

  • Author: Chelsea Joy
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Use up leftover ham with this simple stovetop split pea and ham soup recipe! Gluten free, dairy free, and fuss free. An old-fashioned favorite!


  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces dried split peas, rinsed
  • 1 leftover ham bone
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups bone broth OR water
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover ham, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the cooking fat over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the split peas. Add the ham bone, broth, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped ham. Continue to cook for another 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the split peas have cooked down and the soup has thickened to your desired consistency.
  3. Remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaves. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley or thyme, or keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Keywords: gluten free, dairy free, ham, split peas, soup, soup recipes


I'm Chelsea, the author behind Chelsea Joy Eats! I believe life should be full of flavor. I enjoy creating recipes that are nourishing, flavorful, and satisfying. When not experimenting in the kitchen, I usually have a camera, barbell, or mug of coffee in hand. My posts may include affiliate links, which means if you click through a purchase something, I make a small commission at no cost to you. It helps me fuel my coffee habit and pay rent!

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