split pea and ham soup

“Martha was very fond of making split pea soup. Sometimes she made it all day long. Pots and pots of split pea soup.” – James Marshall, George and Martha

Did anyone else read George and Martha when they were kids? I used to love the story about the split pea soup, although it didn’t really make me want to try it. It wasn’t until recently that I actually tried split pea soup, and it is delicious and filling. I have been making it with yellow split peas because I still don’t know about the green soup. This recipe makes pots and pots of split pea soup (14+ cups), but it freezes extremely well, so I don’t have to dump any in my shoe.

split pea soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup

adapted from Real Simple


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups dried split peas
  • 2 cups sliced ham, chopped // I buy boneless, sliced, brown sugar cured ham
  • 48 oz chicken broth
  • 48 oz water // You can do all chicken stock, but I ran out any substituted in water. It still tasted great. 
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper // I find that the peas absorb A LOT of salt, I think I ended up using close to 2 tbsp
  • croutons // I make my own by brushing bread with butter and a bit of parsley, garlic, and cayenne pepper


  1. In a large pot, heat the butter and oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add in carrots, onions, and celery and stir to coat. Continue cooking until slightly tender and the vegetables are beginning to brown.
  3. Add in garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Create a well in the middle of the vegetables, and add in ham. Cook for a couple of minutes to add some color.
  5. Add in peas, broth, water, and thyme. Also season with 1 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 50 minutes.
  7. Taste soup and adjust seasonings.
  8. Serve with croutons.

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