Split Pea Soup Recipe

Need a quick, go-to soup recipe for a busy, cold, and blustery weeknight? I’ve got the perfect solution! This easy split pea soup recipe!

There are two camps of people when it comes to Split Pea Soup. You either cook it with ham, or you don’t. Most people tend to have a strong preference one way or the other.

A white bowl filled with Split Pea Soup.

And in addition, you either like it soupy, or thick as mud.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

The great thing about this recipe is that you can cook it the way you like it! The recipe below is the non-ham version (we don’t care for ham around here).

But if you like it with meat, then simply add some ham to the pot when cooking! (Just be sure it’s cooked properly in the end).

How Thick Do You Like Your Split Pea Soup?

As for thickness, this soup will thicken both with time in the fridge and with longer cooking times.

So, if you like your split pea soupy, simply add a little extra broth if the soup thickens too much. (It will thicken as it cools, usually by the next day.) But if you like it thick as mud, cook it longer (to cook out more of the liquid) and let it sit overnight in the fridge. It’ll be nice and thick in the morning.

I just love a versatile recipe, don’t you?

Split Pea Soup With Ham

This recipe is vegetarian, but as mentioned, it’s quite versatile. If you prefer ham in your split pea, you can either use a leftover ham bone or cut up some meat into small cubes. Either way, you’ll get good flavor. The ham bone offers a flavor that is a tiny bit more “intense,” but both will work here.

Add the bone or meat (or both) after you’ve sautéd the vegetables.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

If you prefer to make this in an Instant Pot (I do it all the time now!), you can make these easy adjustments to the recipe below.

  • Sauté everything in your Instant Pot instead of a pan. Simply press the sauté button and add the oil to the insert first. Then, the veggies and sauté just like you would in the pan.
  • Turn the IP off, and add all the other ingredients.
  • Place the lid and close the vent valve.
  • Press the Manual button and adjust the time to 18 minutes at high pressure.
  • When the cooking cycle is done, allow a 20-minute natural release.
  • Then open the valve (careful of any remaining steam!).
  • When all the steam has been released, open the lid carefully and stir your soup.
  • Remove the bay leaf (and the ham bone if you used it), and serve your soup with crusty garlic bread!

What You’ll Need



Red onion

Extra virgin olive oil – Or any oil you prefer to use.

Dried thyme

Garlic granules – Or garlic powder. If you want, you can use fresh garlic. Pressed is best. One to two heads of garlic would do well here.

Onion granules – Or onion powder. Yes, this is in addition to the fresh onions. You’ll want both.

Chicken stock – Or vegetable stock. You’ll add as much as you want to reach the consistency you want in the finished soup.

Dry split peas

How To Make Split Pea Soup

These instructions are for the slow cooker. Stovetop directions are below in the recipe card.

  • Sauté your onions in the olive oil until they are translucent.
  • Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and turn on low.
  • Let cook for 8-10 hours.

What If Your Split Peas Won’t Get Soft?

Sometimes, you cook split peas for hours, and they are still hard little pebbles of dinners-not-ready-despair. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Chances are, your split peas are old. Split peas tend to dry out further with age, making it much harder to cook them. To some degree, you can tell how old they are by their color. If they are a vibrant green, they should cook just fine. If they are pale green, chances are you’ll be cooking them for a really long time. (Have extra broth on hand if that’s the case!)
  2. If you live at an altitude above 2000 feet, you’ll cook those peas a lot longer than usual. I don’t know a lot about high-altitude cooking, but I do know it affects cooking times, even with something like split peas.

What To Serve With Split Pea Soup

This soup is truly a meal all on its own. But if you want to pair it with other things, here are some suggestions:

  • Crusty garlic bread
  • Green salad on the side
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Garlic naan
  • Biscuits
  • Cornbread
  • Sausage – for those who like meat but don’t have ham
  • Croutons – usually as a garnish
  • Toast

Recipe Cost

Please note that these prices are true for my area at the time I am posting them. Your area may be more or less expensive. Use these cost figures as a ballpark.

  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 medium stalks celery
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups dry split peasTOT














More Healthy Soup Recipes

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Clean Eating Split Pea Soup Recipe

Split Pea Soup Recipe

Nothing says comfort like a warm bowl of split pea soup. It’s comfort in a bowl!
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 20 cups, approximately
Calories: 142kcal



  • 4 large carrots (sliced)
  • 4 medium stalks celery (sliced)
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 8 cups chicken or veggie stock (go up to 12 cups as needed for consistency)
  • 3 cups dry split peas


Slow Cooker Directions

  • Sauté your onions in the olive oil until they are translucent.
    Sautéing the vegetables
  • Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and turn on low.
    All the ingredients added to the slow cooker.
  • Let cook for 8-10 hours, and serve.
    Clean Eating Split Pea Soup Recipe

Stove Top Directions

  • Sauté the onions, carrots and celery in the olive oil in a large soup pot until the onions are translucent.
    Put all the veggies in the pan for sautéing.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients in the soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow boil and allow to cook until peas are soft. Stir frequently to void burning at the bottom of the pot.
    All split pea soup ingredients in pot, ready to cook.
  • Serve with a side of crusty garlic bread.
    Split pea soup in a white bowl, ready to eat.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup (approximately) | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2470IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 12/24/2010.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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  1. Haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to use my fresh turkey broth instead of veg. broth. Can’t wait!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Linda – That should be yummy!!! Enjoy!

  2. trude wofford says:

    split pea is one of my all time fav’s when I was growing up and my mom made split pea in the winter she always used a beef chuck roast in the soup and when she served it -it was almost like getting a pot roast dinner large peices of meat and potatos and carrots yum, but when I make it now I rarely make it moms way I just dont have the time- so the way I like it best is with chunky veg and slices of turkey smoked sausage(its leaner) wow I think I’ll have to make it moms way again soon

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Trude – Yes, it’s good with meat in it! But I do try to eat vegetarian more and more, and this version is really good without the meat. Let me know what you think if you try it!

  3. trude wofford says:

    I will sounds good

  4. Sanjeeta kk says:

    This sounds a healthy and refreshing soup, Tiffany.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sanjeeta – Yes! Very warm and comforting!

  5. Robin Guerin says:

    My husband searched your site hoping to find a recipe for split pea soup. He had it often growing up, but now wanted an Eating Clean recipe to try. He loves this recipe. He is currently in the kitchen making it again…can’t wait for it to finish cooking! Yummy!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Robin – That’s fantastic! I’m so happy you are both enjoying it! 🙂

  6. Christine says:

    Hi, I LOVE pea soup in any way! Except the stuff in the can. Did you know some of the canned versions have lard in them! Sadly tho my family will only eat that stuff. But as for me, vegetarian or meaty, thick or thin, and split pea or whole like my grandmother used to make..I love it… Your recipe is very similar to mine, only I make a smaller batch . I was just taking about pea soup with my co-worker last night.. I have a party tonight so I better wait until tomorrow to make it..lol.. Not the kind of music you want to share with friends..haha.. Can’t wait to have it ! :))

    1. Anonymous says:

      Christine – Hahaha!!! No, I suppose it isn’t! Hee hee!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Rebecca – We all have those few recipes we’ll never give up!

  8. deb thomas says:

    I just started using the recipe box, I love it. I was trying to figure out how to put this in it, but couldn’t find the little link. Am I overlooking it? I love this soup and have made it several times.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Deb – Just fixed it. Thanks for letting me know.

  9. I made this recipe from the Vegetarian book yesterday for dinner and just had some left overs for lunch and it’s SOOOOO good! It’s perfect!!! I love thick pea soup and it was so good once I blended it all together!!! I could eat this daily lol

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mandy – So glad you’re enjoying it!

  10. Just made this last night,very easy & very awesome! my VERY pick husband loved it too and says thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Steph – My pleasure! 😀

  11. Nicole Wood says:

    Looking for number of servings and how many calories for each serving. Any idea on that?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – It varies quite a bit from batch to batch, which is why I didn’t list the servings. I would say an average is probably 8-12 servings. As for the calories, you would have to type the recipe into a recipe calculator and then divide the data by the number of exact servings you end up with. Sorry I can’t be more help on this one.

  12. Ida Waterous says:

    Here is how I would do it in the Instant Pot

    No presoaking necessary but rinse and cull the split peas
    Put the Instant Pot on Saute and Saute your onions in the olive oil until they are translucent.
    Put all ingredients in the Instnt Pot and and turn on Manual (automatically gives you 30 minutes)
    Use natural release, that is let the Instant Pot pressure come down on its own (Probably an additional 15 minutes.
    If you are not around it will keep warm for up to 10 hours, it thickens as it cools

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ida – Thanks for that! 😀

  13. I made this with 10 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon salt and added smoked sausage after 45 minutes. I cooked it for an hour total. It was amazing!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tabitha – Fantastic!!! So happy you enjoyed it! 😀

  14. Rose Murphy says:

    I understand why you didn’t list the number of servings, however, I am more interested in the serving size. What is the amount per serving – example 8 oz. 12 oz. 16 oz. ?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rose – Serving size would depend on you and your caloric needs. Most soups have a serving size of 1/2 a cup. But I find that unrealistic for main meals unless you focus on frequent small meals. Then it’s fine. I usually offer up data for 1 cup.