This no-fuss, budget friendly recipe uses dried split peas and leftover ham to create a delicious, hearty soup packed full of nutrients. A healthy and satisfying choice for lunch or dinner.
My sister-in-law hosted a wonderful Easter dinner for the family this year, as she does every year. She made lots of yummy family favorites and, much like I do when I prepare a holiday meal, had enough food to feed a platoon of hungry soldiers. So of course, there were an abundant of leftovers. And while I love leftovers, I had my sights on only one thing: the coveted ham bone!
I can’t think of a better way to use up leftover ham than to prepare a big pot of an amazingly rich and savory split pea soup. I’ve been making this soup for years, and it’s practically become a family tradition to serve up a bowl the day after Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving holiday meals.
There is truly nothing fancy or fussy about this soup. Just add everything to a pot, stir, and simmer. The ham bone creates a delicious, smokey flavored broth. And once the peas dissolve, it becomes a creamy, savory soup. Keep in mind, you can still create this same wonderful soup without using leftover ham (see notes under Helping Hand below).
Thank you, Theresa and Doug, for a wonderful Easter dinner and my doggy bag. I used the ham bone to make a pot of soup, and it was so, so good.
And the tradition continues.
- Everything can cook and simmer in a 20-quart stock pot for this recipe — no need to transfer ingredients or dirty a separate pot. The size of this pot also ensures that water covers the ham bone while simmering, which is important to create the savory broth.
- Your top 10 essential kitchen tools will prove quite helpful for this recipe, especially a good cutting board and chef’s knife for the veggies, and a large wooden spoon and spoon rest for stirring the soup while simmering.
- This is a hearty soup, and the best sides to serve with it is chunk of crusty bread and a small fresh salad.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerate for up to three days.
- This soup is freezer friendly for sure. Spoon completely cooled soup into plastic freezer bags or an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, simply thaw and reheat in a saucepan.
- This recipe uses dried green split peas, which does not require any presoaking before tossing into the pot. You’ll still want to rinse the peas thoroughly in cool water using a colander. Be sure to remove any dirt particles and small pebbles.
- This recipe uses leftover ham and the ham bone; however, that’s not an absolute requirement. A ham hock is an excellent substitute. Or you can easily use diced ham along with chicken or vegetable broth instead of water.
- Shredded carrots are the easiest way to go, though it does cost a little more. A good substitute is two to three whole carrots cleaned and chopped.
- This soup thickens the longer you let the soup simmer, so set on low and let it go. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
- My family prefers this soup with potatoes added. The soup is thick and hearty enough without the potatoes, so you can certainly leave them out. Good substitutes for whole potatoes are mashed potatoes (fresh or leftovers) or potato flakes. If using one of these substitutes, add during the last 30 minutes of cook time. Use about a cup or more until you achieve the desired thickness.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and star rating below. It’s always refreshing to hear how others like a recipe, find success with it, or tweak to suit. I’d love to hear from you!