Split Pea Soup with Ham

by Kathy Strahs on October 21, 2009 · 15 comments

Post image for Split Pea Soup with Ham

Split pea soup can be a little deceptive. With its bright green color, your eyes convince your mouth that it’s in for something really fresh and herby. You go in for the first spoonful and your tastebuds are surprised to be hit with rich, earthy, smoky flavors with a hint of sweetness – the result of having been simmered with smoked ham hocks for upwards of four hours.  Yes, they’re surprised – but they sure are happy.

I always thought that split pea soup was puréed – how else does it get such a velvety smooth texture? It turns out that it’s a natural process, the peas break down on their own during simmering. In fact, it seems, they start to break down upon contact with any water at all. Do yourself a favor and wait to rinse them until right before it’s time to add them to the soup. I rinsed mine at the start of the recipe (I often try to prep all ingredients before I start cooking) – by the time I needed to pour them into the pot they had all stuck together in a 1-lb. pea cake! Fortunately, I was able to chip them all out of the colander and all was well.

Oh, and the corn muffins you see in the photo? I’ll be posting those next!

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers

Split Pea Soup with Ham

See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Karine October 22, 2009 at 4:18 AM

This is such comfort food. When I was little, I did not like it but when I became a teen, I suddenly loved it.

You seemed to have done an amazing job with your recipe. Thanks for sharing!


rita in mi October 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Looks yummy, this is one of my favorite soups.


TheWoman October 23, 2009 at 4:28 AM

Pea soup has always been a firm favourite of mine, although I’ve never tried making it myself.

PS: What a novel blog concept!
.-= TheWoman´s last blog ..Pissalidière =-.


Tiffany November 11, 2009 at 12:29 PM

I just love pea soup. It’s something I have grown up on and the only one I love is made by my mom which she had gotten from my grandfather (I need her to give me lessons). The soup you made looks very similar to my moms and I think I will have to give this a try for sure!

Also have to agree its a great blog concept!


Yvonne October 25, 2010 at 6:30 AM

Bought the peas with the recipe at the back….lost it and decided to try google
BINGO the same split Pea soup w ith ham recipe came up….it is fantastic…I add a few Veg. to it. I also add Yuca try it , it is Delicious


Shelby January 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Wish I had read your blog first…I had the same 1-lb. pea cake encounter! I must say I had to laugh when I was chipping away at it. Enjoyed the recipe as well.


Kathy January 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Happens to the best of us, eh? I’m glad you ultimately enjoyed the soup. 🙂


Dana October 26, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Thanks for posting this, the Safeway package recipe is my favourite but I had bulk split peas. Fortunately this was the first hit on Google for “Safeway package split pea soup.”

It’s not that this soup is that much BETTER than any other standard recipe, it’s the the method that’s great: make the ham hock broth first, cook peas in it later. By doing it in 2 stages, you can cool the broth and take the fat off the top, you can pull meat off the bone at your leisure when it’s cool, and then make the soup itself pretty quickly at a later time.



Susan March 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Someone threw the bag away I was crushed. This is the best recipe. Thank you thank you thank you. I searched forever but here you are.


Carolyn March 17, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Glad you posted it, they have a different recipe on the bag now. But this one is my go-to.


Evie April 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I’m SO GLAD YOU SAID THIS: “I rinsed mine at the start of the recipe (I often try to prep all ingredients before I start cooking) – by the time I needed to pour them into the pot they had all stuck together in a 1-lb. pea cake! Fortunately, I was able to chip them all out of the colander and all was well.” That *just* happened to me, and I googled (and found YOU) to see what was wrong!! LOL Glad it’s normal, and not just something weird in my own bag of peas!!! I thought I’d bought GLUE PEAS.


Kathy Strahs April 15, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Lol — yes, you’re definitely not the only one!


Jeannie Misener January 23, 2020 at 5:30 AM

I made this AWESOME soup last night. My husband would never eat pea soup until I made it. It took all afternoon which was ok with me. Seems the longer you let it simmer the better it tastes. All I had was a ham bone left from the holidays that I froze. I thought it wouldn’t be enough flavor to make it taste like it should. I had a bottle of liquid smoke thinking that I could add that but that went bad. I was left with all the meat on the bone flavor. It was enough for sure. The soup was more like a stew with chunks of goodness mixed in. I purchased a loaf of Challah bread (you can use any kind of course) it was the best dinner we have had in sometime now that it’s very cold outside it warms you inside… what great comfort food! I will make this again for sure and it’s so easy it cooks itself!


Marcy November 12, 2020 at 2:55 PM

We add a plop of sour cream ! Silky smooth finish. Best recipe ever!


Previous post:

Next post: