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Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks

Classic Split Pea Soup with Ham Hock is perfect for a cool day. This recipe yields a protein packed, hearty soup loaded with smoky shredded ham and veggies.

One of my favorite ways to warm up on a cold Winter or cool Spring day is a hearty bowl of soup. This recipe for Split Pea with Ham Hock fits the bill perfectly.

Overhead photo of split pea in a bowl.

The split peas cook down giving the soup a velvety texture. The ham hock adds a smoky flavor. And the addition of thyme and rosemary rounds out the flavor out to make a super comforting bowl of soup. 

What ingredients do you need?

Overhead photo of ingredients needed to make split pea with ham hock.

SPLIT PEAS: Split peas are field peas that are dried, peeled and split. They are high in protein and fiber. And while they cook they break down and turn very creamy. There is no need to soak split peas before cooking, just make sure to rinse them and pick over them to make sure no stones made their way into the bag. 

DES’ TIP: The peas should break down on their own when cooking. If you’re having issues with your split peas not getting soft, it could be that the peas are too old

ONION/CELERY/CARROTS/GARLIC: If you want to get fancy, it’s called a mirepoix. It’s used as a seasoning base for many dishes. I use it for almost every soup. It adds so much flavor. 

CHICKEN BROTH: Because the ham hock can be very salty, you’ll want to use reduced sodium chicken broth so it doesn’t add too much additional salt. 

THYME/ROSEMARY: The recipe calls for dried. If you want to use fresh, use 1 tablespoon. 

BAY LEAVES: Adds a subtle background flavor to the soup. 

HAM HOCK/SHANK: These are pretty readily available in the meat section of your grocery store. You can also use the bone from leftover holiday ham. 

DES’ TIP: Because of the chicken broth and ham shank, I would wait to add salt to the soup until you finish cooking the soup. This will help you be able to control the salt content better. 

Making Split Pea Soup with Ham Hock: 

One of the best things about cooking soups, is that they are pretty no fuss. This split pea soup recipe is no different. I’ve included some step by step photos to show you just how easy it is. 

STEP #1: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook just until vegetables start to soften. About 3 minutes. 

STEP #2: Pour in chicken broth. Add in thyme, rosemary, split peas, bay leaves and ham hock. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and then cover. Cook until the peas are tender about an hour. 

STEP #3: Remove ham hock from the soup. Allow to cool for several minutes and then shred. 

STEP #4: Return the meat to the pot and cook for another 20 – 30 minutes or until the peas have broken down. 

Overhead of photo of a spoonful of split pea soup.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Split Pea Soup: 

Store any leftovers in a container in the refrigerator. When it comes to reheating, you might notice that split pea soup will thicken as it cools. To reheat it, I always add a little bit of broth or water as I’m heating it up. This will help thin it a bit. 

If you love this Split Pea Soup Recipe, check out these other hearty soup recipes

Clam Chowder Recipe 

Hearty Beef Chili 

Ham and Potato Soup 

Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2011. It was updated with a  new recipe, photos and nutrition information in 2021. 

Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks Recipe

Serves 8 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 16 ounces split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hock, ham shank or ham bone

Instructions

1

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

2

Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook just until vegetables start to soften. About 3 minutes. 

3

Pour in chicken broth. Add in thyme, rosemary, split peas, bay leaves and ham hock. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and then cover. Cook until the peas are tender about an hour. 

4

Remove ham hock from the soup. Allow to cool for several minutes and then shred. 

5

Return the meat to the pot and cook for another 20 - 30 minutes or until the peas have broken down.

6

Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

7

To reheat leftovers add a little more liquid (broth or water) to thin it out a bit.

Notes

Nutrition facts for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 470 , Total Fat: 14.7g , Saturated Fat: 4.1g , Cholesterol: 41mg , Sodium: 158mg , Carbohydrates: 52.2g , Fiber: 20.5g , Sugar: 8.1g , Protein: 33.2g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    StephenC
    March 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I regret not liking split peas. I do however like to make pea soup with fresh/frozen peas. We can’t tell if soup weather is past or still to return later in the month.

  • Reply
    Robyn
    March 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I live in Oregon, and I heard that we stand a chance of not getting above 60 for the rest of March, which would be some kind of record, apparently.

    With that in mind, it seems like it is still a very appropriate time for soup! Your version looks delicious!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.