Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe

J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • This classic recipe is no-fuss and no-frills.

A no-fuss, no-frills version of the classic, made with green split peas, broth, and ham. Even in its simplest form, it's rich, creamy, and deeply flavorful, a perfect hearty meal on a cold day.

Recipe Facts



Active: 15 mins
Total: 75 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 1 large rib celery, finely diced (about 4 ounces; 125g)
  • 6 ounces (170g) ham steak, diced (see note)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (450g) dried green split peas
  • 2 quarts (2L) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and ham and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

  2. Add peas, chicken stock or water, and bay leaves. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, and cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook until peas are tender, about 1 hour. Remove ham hock, pick meat, and return to soup (if using). Roughly purée soup using a hand blender, or purée in batches using a countertop blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Special equipment

Immersion blender or countertop blender


You can use a whole cured or smoked ham hock in place of the diced ham, or bacon or pancetta, if you prefer. If you use a hock, pick off the meat after cooking in step 2 and add it back to the soup, discarding the bone.

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