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