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Chunky Split Pea Soup with Ham


This is my favorite pea soup recipe, so far. I found this on the food blog "Kahakai Kitchen" for Deb's weekly recipe roundup called "Souper Sundays". I made one adaptation by using my favorite spice blend "Old Bay Seasoning" instead of the paprika. The ham stock, and my homemade chicken stock, is what gave this soup such a terrific depth of flavor, and the Yukon Gold potatoes made this chunky soup such a hearty meal.

I served this with some homemade buttery rolls for a delicious meal.

To see how I made this soup, please visit my food blog at:

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  • 2 to 3 smoked ham hock or 1 large smoked ham shank (see instructions below for ham stock)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound bag (or about 2 heaping cups) split peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 quarts mixed ham and chicken stock (or stock of choice)
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning (or smoked or hot paprika or combination)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Servings 10
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 155mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Ham Stock:

Prepare the day before: Place the ham hocks or shank in a large kettle add 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about an hour or until shank is tender. Strain broth into a container, setting aside meat to cool, and place container in the fridge overnight. When meat has cooled pull from the bones, dice and refrigerate. After stock has set overnight, remove the hard layer of fat and use stock in soup.

Note: I used my pressure cooker for this at 30 minutes to make this on the same day of the soup. A quick freeze, then chill helped me to skim the fat pretty easily.

Prep: Chop the onion, celery and carrots or use your food processor to make this quick.

Bundle the fresh thyme with the bay leaves and tie with a kitchen twine for easy removal.

Rinse the dried peas and pick through them before using.

Dice the Yukon Gold potatoes into very small bite-size pieces.

Chop the ham into small pieces. The pressure cooker made the ham so tender, that it broke apart very easily.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute onion, celery and carrots in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Add garlic and continue to sautee' another 2 to 3 minutes. Add dried peas, bay leaves, thyme and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, then add potatoes and cook another 30 minutes or until soup is thick, potatoes are soft and peas have almost but not quite disintegrated.

Add ham meat and Old Bay Seasoning (or paprika) and cook another 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Purée very lightly with immersion blender or puree a couple of cups of the soup in the blender, so that soup remains very chunky.

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