Split Pea and Ham Soup is a classic leftover ham recipe that we make every year! A perfect way to use up your ham and makes great leftovers!
Any time we make a smoked ham, I ALWAYS keep the bone! Always. Because in the next day or two you know I am going to be making some of this Split Pea and Ham Soup! This is how I grew up eating it and how my Mom taught me to cook it. It is simple, flavorful and so delicious. Just the way I like my recipes!
Do Split Peas Need to be Soaked before Cooking
No, it is not imperative that you soak your split peas before cooking them (as opposed to dried beans). By soaking them you simply reduce how long you will need to cook them. If you soak your split peas, especially overnight, they should cook quite quickly (about 20 minutes). If you do not soak your split peas they will take around 1 to 2 hours to cook (simmering). In short, the longer you soak them, the shorter the cooking time will be. So, even if you forget to soak your split peas the night before, you can soak them for as long as possible right before cooking.
Using Ham Bone for Split Pea Soup
You do need to have a ham bone or ham hock in order to make this recipe. It is what helps create the broth and the ham flavor that you ultimately end up cooking your split peas in. I always save my ham bones, even if I don’t plan on using them for a while. I just pop them in the freezer to use for another time.
How Long Does Split Pea Soup Last in the Freezer
Ham and Split pea soup last for about a week in the fridge (covered in an airtight container) or you can freeze it for up to 3-4 months. To thaw, simply place the frozen soup in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can place your frozen soup in a large saucepan and very slowly warm up on the stove-top.
How to Make Ham and Split Pea Soup
Step One: Soak your split peas (either overnight or start soaking them when you start simmering your ham bone).
Step Two: Place a ham bone or ham hock in a large soup pot or dutch oven and cover with water
Step Three: After letting ham bone simmer for several hours, remove ham bone and allow to cool.
Step Four: Strain remaining broth and addd it back into the pot.
Step Five: Remove any meat from the ham bone and add back into the pot, along with any fresh ham meat, peas, celery and onion. If you peas haven’t been soaking very long, then you will want to cook them first, adding the carrots and celery later so they don’t over-cook and get mushy.
Step Six: Simmer until vegetables are soft and peas are fully cooked (the longer you cook it the thicker it will get).
Serve immediately or save for later!
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Ham and Split Pea Soup – a warm and cozy meal! Perfect for leftover ham!
- 1 ham bone (preferably with some meat still on the bone)
- water (about 8 cups or enough to cover your ham bone)
- bay leaf
- 1 lb split peas (soak in water overnight before using)
- 3–4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion (white would work too), diced
- additional ham meat if there is not a lot on the bone (as much or as little as you like)
- Place ham bone in large soup pot or dutch oven (I used a 5.5qt dutch oven).
- Cover with water (about 8 cups) and add bay leaf.
- Place the cover on and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 3-5 hours.
- Remove ham bone and place on a large plate or baking sheet; set aside to cool.
- Strain remaining broth and place back in same pot.
- Prepare carrots, celery and onion while the ham bone cools then remove ham from ham bone (ensuring it is in bite-sized pieces).
- Add carrots, onion, celery and ham meat back into pot along with the split peas.
- Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until peas are fully cooked and vegetables are soft.
- Serve immediately.
- Soaking peas: If you forgot to soak your peas overnight simply start soaking them when your ham bone starts being cooked in Step 3. Once your ham bone is cooking, add your peas into the strained broth and let the peas cook by themselves for about 1.5-2 hours. You will have to keep an eye on them and stir occasionally while they simmer. Once the peas have cooked and are starting to break down, then add in the onion, carrots and celery and let them simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are soft, but firm.
- Additional ham: If you don’t have enough ham on the bone, you can always add additional leftover ham. You can ultimately add as much or as little ham as you want.
- Storage: Ham and Split pea soup last for about a week in the fridge (covered in an airtight container) or you can freeze it for up to 3-4 months. To thaw, simply place the frozen soup in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can place your frozen soup in a large saucepan and very slowly warm up on the stove-top.
Keywords: split pea and ham soup, ham and split pea soup