SPLIT PEA SOUP

Everyone needs a good, classic split pea soup recipe for those long chilly, rainy days of winter. This soup is packed full of fresh vegetables and smoky ham for a combination that is sure to win your whole family over. This is sure to be your new favorite comfort food!

I have been making this soup for years, and have tweaked it some along the way. It’s a favorite in our house – and for good reason! This soup is just so full of flavor, not to mention all the healthy vegetables and loads of protein! Not only are you getting protein from the ham, but split peas are also a great source of protein! Half a cup of cooked split peas provides 8 grams of protein, which by comparison, a large egg has 6 grams! So this is one soup you can feel great about eating and feeding to your family!

For This Recipe:

  • Start by sautéing the onions and garlic. Sautéing simply means cooking in a pan with butter or oil until the vegetables are tender. Sautéing the onions and garlic concentrates their natural sugars so they take on a glorious sweetness, while simultaneously enhancing their flavor. Be sure to stir frequently, because garlic burns easily. The onions and garlic only need a couple of minutes to become tender and sweet.
  • Chop the celery and carrots. Add all the vegetables, including the onions and garlic, to a crockpot or instant pot.
  • Add the chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  • Rinse the split peas well. Add them to the crock pot and stir.
  • For the meat, you can use smoked ham shanks, smoked ham hocks, or regular ham. I have used all three and they all make for a delicious tasting soup!
    • Smoked ham shanks: This is my favorite meat to use. The shanks are smoked, which give the soup a rich, smoky flavor. There is usually quite a bit of meat on the shanks, which I cut off and add to the soup after it has cooked for 8 hours.
    • Smoked ham hocks: This lends the same rich, smoky flavor as the ham shanks, but it can be a hit or miss on whether there is enough meat on the bones. More times than not, I get very little meat from the shanks. So you’ll still get the delicious smoky flavor, just not much meat.
    • Ham: This is always a winning choice – a great way to use up leftover ham! The only downside to using ham, is that you won’t get the smoky flavor that you would with the shank or the hock. But trust me, you will still have a very delicious soup! If you use ham, cut it into bite-size pieces and add it to the soup at the beginning of the cooking process, allowing for all the flavors to meld together as the soup cooks.
  • Add whichever meat you choose to the broth and vegetables. If you are using ham hocks or ham shanks, be sure they are completely covered by the broth. This allows for all the rich smoky flavors to incorporate into the soup as it cooks.
  • For a standard crockpot or slow cooker, cook for 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat. For an instant pot, the low heat setting just doesn’t cook at a high enough temperature, and the vegetables don’t always get tender enough. So, I set the instant pot to high heat and cook for at least 8 hours. Also with the instant pot, I remove the lid for the last hour and let some of the moisture evaporate as it finishes cooking, so the soup is less watery. 
  • When the soup is done, transfer the ham shank (or ham hock), to a cutting board and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife or fork, remove as much meat from the bones as you can. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces. Return the meat back to the soup along with the chopped parsley, and stir everything together. Serve and enjoy!

Some of the equipment I love to use are listed below:

   

Split Pea Soup

Everyone needs a good, classic split pea soup recipe for those long chilly, rainy days of winter. This soup is packed full of fresh vegetables and smoky ham for a combination that is sure to win your whole family over! This is sure to be your new favorite comfort food!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 smoked ham shanks, smoked ham hocks, or about 1 pound ham, **See notes
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until softened, 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the sautéed onion and garlic to the crockpot or instant pot, along with the carrots, celery, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  • Rinse the split peas thoroughly and then add to the crockpot. Stir the soup to combine all the ingredients.
  • Add the smoked ham shanks, ham hocks, or ham to the slow cooker. If you are using ham shanks or ham hocks, make sure they are completely covered by the soup.
  • Cover and cook on high-heat for 4-5 hours or low-heat for 8-10 hours. The peas should be very tender when the soup is done.

To Finish the Soup:

  • Transfer the ham shank (or ham hock) to a cutting board, and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife or fork, remove as much meat from the bones as you can. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat back to the soup along with the chopped parsley, stir.

Notes

For the meat, you can use smoked ham shanks, smoked ham hocks, or regular ham. I have used all three and they all make for a delicious tasting soup!
  • Smoked ham shanks: This is my favorite meat to use. The shanks are smoked, which give the soup a rich, smoky flavor. There is usually quite a bit of meat on the shanks, which I cut off and add to the soup after it has cooked for 8 hours.
  • Smoked ham hocks: This lends the same rich, smoky flavor as the ham shanks, but it can be a hit or miss on whether there is enough meat on the bones. More times than not, I get very little meat from the shanks. So you’ll still get the delicious smoky flavor, just not much meat.
  • Ham: This is always a winning choice – a great way to use up leftover ham! The only downside to using ham, is that you won’t get the smoky flavor that you would with the shank or the hock. But trust me, you will still have a very delicious soup! If you use ham, cut it into bite-size pieces and add it to the soup at the beginning of the cooking process, allowing for all the flavors to meld together as the soup cooks.

Cooking Times:
For a standard crockpot or slow cooker, cook for 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat. For an instant pot, the low heat setting just doesn’t cook at a high enough temperature, and the vegetables don’t always get tender enough. So, I set the instant pot to high heat and cook for at least 8 hours. Also with the instant pot, I remove the lid for the last hour and let some of the moisture evaporate as it finishes cooking, so the soup is less watery. 

 
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