HoneyBaked Ham Split Pea Soup Recipe

Pea soup has been around for a good long time –- since the days of the ancient Romans, according to the website The Romans in Britain. While the Roman recipe doesn't appear to have contained any meat, we know that ham played a part in the famous French-Canadian Habitant pea soup that The World says dates back some 400 years. HoneyBaked Ham, on the other hand, has only been available to us for a mere six and a half decades. We're fairly sure that throughout its recent past, whenever people had ham leftovers, they put them to good use by making split pea soup.

This recipe from developer Carlos Leo is a fairly traditional one, but Leo puts his own special spin on it. Most pea soups he says, do not contain oregano, but he admits, "I love to use oregano in almost every dish." Leo's husband is this pea soup's number one fan –- it's his favorite soup of all. As Leo says, "I believe I make a damn good soup." He's made believers out of us as well, and we're sure you're going to love this split pea soup, too!

These are the ingredients you'll need for the split pea soup

To make this soup, you'll need some leftover ham -– the bone-in kind, of course! While Leo says, "HoneyBaked Ham gives the soup a sweeter flavor," you could always bake your own ham or use a smokier, salt-cured ham if that's what you prefer. (In that case, maybe dial back a bit on the salt in the recipe.)

You're also going to need some veggies: an onion, carrots, celery, and of course some split peas (green ones). You'll be using olive oil and chicken stock for cooking, and you'll need fresh garlic, bay leaves, dried thyme, and dried oregano to spice things up. Leo tells us, "I prefer to use Dominican oregano; the smell and the potency are stronger than the regular that you see in the store. But any kind of oregano will do the job." If you want to add some tang, a couple of tablespoons of fresh lemon juice can be mixed in before serving.

Sauté the veggies with the spices

Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot at least 3 quarts in size, big enough to fit all of the other ingredients when the time comes. Cook the onion, carrots, and celery in the oil along with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté the veggies until they are soft, which Leo estimates will take about 10 minutes. At this point, add the garlic, thyme, and oregano, and cook everything for an additional minute. Now stir in the split peas and pour the chicken stock into the pot along with 4 cups of water.

Slow-simmer the soup with a ham bone for flavor

Now is the time to add the ham bone to the peas along with the bay leaves. Let the soup come to a boil, turning up the heat as necessary, then turning the heat back down again to let it simmer for an hour. No need to cover the pot since you want some of the liquid to evaporate. You should remember to stir the soup at least once, though, about halfway through the cooking time. Once the hour is up, take the bay leaves out of the pot and discard or compost them. Take the ham bone out too, and let it sit on a plate to cool.

Slice the meat off the bone to finish off the soup

One other thing besides the oregano that sets Leo's split pea soup apart is the fact that he likes to blend half of the soup in order to thicken it up. Once you've blended the soup, return it to the pot with the unblended contents and stir to combine.

Check the ham and if it's cool enough to handle, slice some of the meat off the bone and chop it up until you have at least 1 cup worth. Leo does say you can certainly add more than 1 cup of ham if you like. Add the chopped ham back to the pot along with the lemon juice, if using. "If you like the soup with a kick," says Leo, "you can add hot sauce or any spicy sauce," at this point as well. Simmer the soup for 10 more minutes to blend the flavors, then taste it and add salt or pepper if necessary.

Leo likes to serve the soup garnished with chopped parsley and croutons. As he describes it, "This soup is pretty filling and it's a complete meal. You have the ham and split peas as protein and there [are] a lot of veggies."

HoneyBaked Ham Split Pea Soup Recipe
5 from 59 ratings
This delicious HoneyBaked ham split pea soup is nourishing and packed with flavor. Serve this tasty soup as a filling meal to warm you up from the inside out.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowls of split pea soup
Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced small
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 meaty HoneyBaked ham bone
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups chicken stock
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • croutons
  • parsley, chopped
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the oil along with ½ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.
  3. Cook until the veggies are softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, oregano, and thyme to the pot and cook for about 1 minute, then add the peas.
  5. Pour the chicken stock into the pot along with 4 cups water, stirring to combine.
  6. Add the ham bone and bay leaves to the pot.
  7. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 60 minutes or until the peas are soft, stirring at least once halfway through the cooking time.
  8. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  9. Remove the ham bone and set it aside to cool.
  10. Purée half of the soup in a blender, then return it to the pot and stir to combine.
  11. Chop 1 cup of ham sliced off the bone.
  12. Add the diced ham to the soup and the lemon juice if using, and let it simmer for another 10 minutes to thicken, stirring frequently.
  13. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  14. Serve the pea soup topped with croutons and garnished with chopped parsley, if desired.
Calories per Serving 403
Total Fat 12.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 38.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.1 g
Dietary Fiber 15.4 g
Total Sugars 7.8 g
Sodium 658.7 mg
Protein 29.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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