Ham & Split Pea Soup

pea soup 1

Working for the weekend is never as fun as when the Expo is in town. For the past few years I’ve been charged with keeping the celebrities and their agents well fed in the gold room – the past 4 days have been a bit of a crazy fun no sleep cooking marathon, but getting to hang out and chat with Danny Glover (who – have I mentioned? – kissed me), Bill Paxton, John Ratzenburger, Matt Smith and the like made it totally worth chopping eight thousand bunches of kale (for this salad, which C-3PO loved!) and peeling about as many sweet potatoes for pots of soup I’ll tell you about soon.

But there was another soup – ham and split pea was requested by Barry Bostwick – ironically, I think I’ve posted twice about the Expo, and both times it was pea soup by request. Previously by Tia Carrere. (If I were to guess what a popular food request from big LA movie stars might be, and if I was allowed to make a million guesses, split pea soup would not even make that list.)

I’m thinking there are likely a few remnants of Easter ham taking up valuable freezer space out there. Split pea soup needs to be made. There is no acceptable canned variety, is there?

pea soup 2

Ham & Split Pea Soup


April 28, 2014

  • Makes: Serves 8.


canola or olive oil, for cooking

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 meaty ham bone

3 cups dry green or yellow dried split peas

a handful (a cup or two) small red or yellow-skinned potatoes, quartered

a few sprigs of thyme

8 cups (2 L) chicken stock

freshly ground black pepper


1In a large pot, heat a generous drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion, celery and carrots for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add the ham bone, split peas, potatoes, thyme and stock, grind over a good amount of pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or until the peas are nice and soft. (The potatoes will be too - if you like them a little more firm, add them to the pot halfway through the cooking time.)

2Stir, mashing the mixture up against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon to create some pea puree along with the chunks. Pull out the hambone and when it’s cool enough to handle, chop the meat into chunks and return it to the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper if it needs it, and serve hot. Serves 6-8.


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17 comments on “Ham & Split Pea Soup

  1. Kathy
    April 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I think only the smartest actors with great taste would request Split Pea soup, but once the word gets out about your soup, everyone in their right mind will be requesting it.

    Looks yummy. Too bad we barbecued steak for Easter instead of ham or I would whip some up tomorrow.

  2. Lisa
    April 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Well let me know next year…perhaps I can help slice, dice and julienne!!!

  3. Jules @ WolfItDown
    April 29, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Mmm, such a classic! Loving the looks of this, a proper hearty soup. I’ll get some nice crusty bread and be on my way! ^ ^

  4. Ali G
    April 29, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I’ve been thinking about split pea soup, on and off, for about a year. Good thing I saved a ham bone! Now I know what we will be having for dinner tonight. The timing is excellent too; it’s raining and miserable here so we can use something warm and comforting for dinner.

  5. Laura Chutny
    April 29, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Julie, we love split pea soup, so of course celebrities would! So delighted to see that you make yours EXACTLY like I do. Making mine on the weekend. Yum!

  6. Laurie from Richmond
    April 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    No matter how famous I got, I would always request pea soup.
    I like it without potatoes,with a bay leaf in it, and garlic. I cut the celery and carrots very small and cook it until the peas loose all integrity and are just mush.
    It wonderful and warming, and there is no canned variety that comes close to home made.
    What I would request from you is poached eggs on spinach.
    Yum yum
    I can’t make it like you do

  7. Colleen
    April 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I’m with Lisa. If you ever need help with large scale chopping, peeling etc. – give us a holler. We’ll help.

  8. rose
    April 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I’m feeling so Julie Van Rosenaal!!! I made split pea soup from our Easter ham bone. I used yams instead of regular potatoes. It was so good and just finished the last of it….
    Loved the mushroom tart too.

  9. rose
    April 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    ooops! Rosendaal

  10. Jan @ Family Bites
    April 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    This is my favourite soup and I’ve never, ever made it with potatoes before, but you can bet I’m going to try it the next time I make a pot.

  11. Courtney Page
    May 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

    We were looking for yummy split pea recipe for our left over ham bone from Easter. I’m thinking half split pea and half lentils?

  12. Carole Peterson
    May 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I would love a processor!

  13. Sheila K
    May 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Cheesecake is comfort food in our house … and a new processor would be a welcome replacement to the barely hanging together one in our cupboard. Happy May 1st!

  14. Patti
    May 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Love your website! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. It may be dreary out but that’s ok….another chance to get creative in the kitchen!

  15. Lana
    October 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    And once again, YUM. Used Thanksgiving ham bone today in this delicious soup. You always have such great recipes. Last night we used three (3!) of your posted recipes with the main meal, and they were all great.

  16. Angy Stimson
    January 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Terrific recipe although mine took longer than it said. Turned out great! Thanks for the recipe.

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