Split Pea Soup with Ham

Nana Mac’s Split Pea Soup with Ham

At more than 100 years old, this recipe was the epitome of farm-to-table before hipsters made it cool. It’s a hearty, almost stew-like soup that leaves you feeling full for hours.

No fancy artisan bread required.

We’re so hooked on this stuff, we refuse to attempt or even entertain the idea of substitutions. Just make it and put it in your face.

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Split Pea Soup with Ham

Nana Mac’s Split Pea Soup with Ham

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top


Nana Mac’s Split Pea Soup with Ham


  • About 8 cups of water, more if needed
  • 1 to 1.5-pound ham steak, cubed; or a ham bone and about 2 cups cubed ham (not honey or glazed)
  • 1 1/4 cup dried split peas (most of a 16 oz bag)
  • 3 large carrots peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 large ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 medium rutabaga peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oil (we’re using extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  1. Prep all vegetables then heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add oil and onions and cook until the onions begin to brown and caramelize. Add celery and garlic, and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add ham and/or ham bone, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, bay leaves, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat and then turn down to a simmer on medium heat. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
  3. If using potatoes, peel, cut, and boil separately in water just until they start becoming tender. Drain, return to pot, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
  4. Measure the peas and then dump into a fine mesh strainer. Sort and rinse. Set aside.
  5. Remove stock pot from medium heat and place a heat diffuser on the burner (this helps to keep the peas from sticking and burning). Turn the heat down to medium-low. Place the stock pot back on the burner with the heat diffuser.
  6. Add the peas and stir. Cover and cook on medium-low, stirring every 10 minutes. As soon as you notice the peas are starting to break up (usually 20-30 minutes), add the potatoes and stir. Cover and continue cooking until peas are fully dissolved, another 20-30 minutes (varies depending on brand and age of the peas).
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove ham bone (if using) and bay leaves. Serve immediately, or cool and divide into containers. Keep in freezer up to 6 months and reheats beautifully, on the stove or in the microwave.

Keywords: split pea soup, pea soup with ham, hearty pea soup

Great for lunches, keeps in refrigerator 4-5 days. Freeze in individual portions for quick meals.

Split Pea Soup with Ham

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