chunky split pea soup

$4.75 recipe / $0.79 serving

In effort to use up some of the things stored in my freezer and pantry, I took a quick survey of what I had available. I had a left over ham hock from making Collard Greens, a bag of chopped celery and bag of chopped carrots from when I made Garden Tomato Soup. Although it’s still over 90 degrees outside in Louisiana, I know fall is starting to creep in for many of you. One of my favorite soups EVER is split pea. I love it so much that I even go ga-ga for the kind that comes out of a can!

Making it from scratch was a sinch, especially since I already had the carrots and celery chopped and ready. Plus, since I had all this stuff in the freezer and fridge, all I had to buy to make this soup was a bag of peas and a potato. Yeah, this week’s grocery receipt was SMALL.

If you want a savory, soul-warming, tummy-filling dish to escort you into the cooler weather, give this chunky split pea soup a try. Oh, and I suggest you make a batch of big, crispy, homemade croutons to throw on top, like I did.

Chunky Split Pea Soup

Chunky Split Pea Soup

chunky split pea soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $4.75
Cost Per Serving: $0.79
Serves: 6
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.20
  • 1 medium onion $0.36
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.12
  • 1 cup (2-4 stalks) celery $0.37
  • 1 cup (2-4 whole) carrots $0.25
  • 1 whole smoked ham hock $1.40
  • 1 lb. split peas (dried) $0.73
  • 6 tsp chicken bouillon/base $0.60
  • 1 whole bay leaf $0.02
  • 1 medium potato $0.65
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.05
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook them in a large stock pot over medium heat with the olive oil until soft. Add the chopped carrots and celery and cook a few minutes more.
  2. Add the ham hock and peas to the pot. Add enough water to just cover the top of the ham hock (6-8 cups). Add a bay leaf and 6 tsp (or cubes) of chicken bouillon. Bring the mixture up to a simmer with a lid on then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Dice the potato into small chunks, add to the pot and continue to simmer until the potato chunks are soft (about ten minutes). The peas should have completely disintegrated by this point as well. If they are still retaining their shape, continue to simmer until they are mush (see photo below).
  4. Remove the bay leaf and ham hock. Transfer ⅓ to ½ of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return it to the pot and mix it in with the rest of the soup. Remove the meat from the ham hock, cut it into small pieces and return it to the pot. Taste the soup and adjust salt and pepper to taste!


Chunky Split Pea Soup

Step By Step Photos

frozen stuffsI had all these frozen goodies waiting to be used in the freezer. Always label and date stuff before stashing it in the freezer. Try to use frozen food within 3 months.

cook onions and garlicCook the chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until soft.

add carrots, celeryAdd the carrots and celery and cook them until they have softened (or thawed out!).

add ham hockAdd the smoked ham hock…

add peasand the split peas…

add waterAdd enough water to cover the ham hock (minimum of 6 cups to cook peas fully, no more than 8 cups to prevent a watery soup).

bouillonI then added bouillon to add some “oomph” to the veggie/ham stock that is already brewing. This is optional. I like Better than Bouillon because it’s usually a little more economical than the cubes and has good flavor.

simmerOh yeah, add the bay leaf too. Let the soup simmer over low heat with a lid on for an hour (make sure it’s simmering).

dice potatoDice the potato into fairly small pieces, add to the pot and simmer until they are soft. I used a red potato because that is what looked fresh at the store. Use any kind you’d like.

mushy peasAt this point, the peas should have been reduced to mush like in the picture. If they still have shape, continue to simmer the soup. Once they are all mushy, remove the bay leaf and ham hock. Place 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup in a blender and puree until thick. Return it to the pot and stir it all up. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH HOT LIQUIDS IN THE BLENDER

ham hock meatWhen the ham hock is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and cut it into small pieces. Return the meat to the soup and DIG IN!!

Chunky Split Pea SoupNOTE:If you’re not crazy about the idea of a ham hock you should get over it. No, just kidding. Well, you should because they’re delicious but if you can’t get over it you can use bacon or salt pork in it’s place. Just cook the bacon (or salt pork) down in a pot before you do anything. Drain off most of the fat if desired but leave enough to cook the onions and garlic in. Proceed with the recipe as usual then add the cooked bacon at the end! Easy and no pig knuckles involved. HA!


  1. Megan says:

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it multiple times now and it is amazing every time. Thank you for sharing this yummy, yet budget friendly, recipe!

  2. Marie says:

    Made this for dinner today and it was unbelievably good. Both my husband and I burned our tongues while chowing down. Plus, it was super easy and super filling.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This was AMAZING!!!! Thanks for the recipe! I added bacon instead of a hamhock because it was easier to find at the store! This soup was so rich and creamy! It was my first time making split-pea soup and definitely not my last!!

  4. Chelsea – Yes, I think this would work great in a slow cooker! Good call!

  5. Beth, do you think this recipe would work in the slow cooker?

  6. Adapts well for a low-salt diet using sodium-free granulated bouillon which allows for just a bit of low-salt ham or packaged real crumbled bacon (stronger flavor, less fat than fresh cooked.) Haven’t pureed it as we like chunky soup and don’t care for the ‘grainy’ texture pureeing can bring. Though intended as a time-saver for last batch, chopping the garlic, onion, celery and carrots as larger pieces added even more flavor. Also reserved about 1/3 of the onion to add near the end with the potato for some nice crunch. Yukon Gold potatoes and a sweet onion are our favorites for this recipe. Best split-pea soup recipe ever-thanks Beth!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have split peas I bought to make soup with just haven’t gotten around to it. This recipe motivated me to go ahead and cook them!

    lol…I kept looking at the picture of your hand wondering what kind of weird glove that is…then I remembered about your little accident.

    Anyway can’t wait to make some split pea soup now! I have 2 ham hocks in the freezer I need to use up too. Too bad the cold weather is pretty much gone.


  8. Also, I was totally shocked at how much meat you can scrape off a ham hock! It was like it kept re-appearing on the bone!

  9. Hooray! This has taken my least favorite soup and put it right in the top 5! I made this pretty early, anticipating a busy evening with no time to cook. Well, it smelled so good that my fiancee and I ended up eating it straight out of the pot for breakfast :) Delicious.

  10. Jackie K says:

    Enjoyed this recipe so much, making it again. Our nearest grocery store didn’t have any ham.. so we settled for turkey ham.. weird, but I hope it turns out just as well :)

  11. Melanie ;-) says:

    Oops, forgot to post that this was dinner #26 & #27. Once with my hubby and I and then again tonight with my family!

    I quote ‘Hearty and delicious, we definitely feel welcome’
    (My sister is about as awesome as sisters come by the way :-)

    I even have enough left over for a small lunch for me!

    Served it with brown rice bread for me and nice crusty bread for the rest of them.

    Just had to post since it went over so well!

  12. Melanie ;-) says:

    Utterly fantastic. I made this to have a nice welcoming soup for when my family comes to visit tomorrow :-) and it is the ticket! (Also, I have a crazy exam tomorrow before they get here and the thought of trying to prepare food tomorrow makes me spazz and feel ill…no joke. Ugh!)

    I had broth on hand that I had made and frozen so I used that instead of bouillon, but that was it for changes. Had a great ham bone and attached meat also frozen lol, so this recipe was just begging to be made.

    It came together very fast, then it was just the waiting game. Where your nose wars with your mouth and you try not to, but you end up sneaking a taste and totally burn your tongue :-P

    Worth it though. I can’t wait to hear what my family thinks.

    Thanks again Beth!

  13. Brittany says:

    Recipe turned out well!! My entire house was raving about it!

  14. Searogue says:

    This soup looks as yummy as you!Excellent recipe and presentation.

  15. making this as we speak! i didn’t get to use the ham hock though, so we’ll see how it turns out! (there is ham in it, just not a ham hock!)

  16. I love this time of year- it’s the perfect soup weather! I recently made tortellini sausage soup, but your soup looks WAY better!

  17. We had split pea soup this week too! I’m glad I’m not the only one in the southern US (north Florida) that’s making soup when it’s a bazillion degrees out… it just makes it feel more like fall, even if it’s not!

    Also, my boyfriend and I are vegetarians, so we add a few dashes of liquid smoke when we make slit pea to replace a little of the hammy flavor. It turns out pretty yummy.

  18. Yum! I make mine just like this, but I also add fresh parsley, dried thyme, hot sauce, and some cumin to it. Very yummy. The croutons are definitely a nice touch, I’ll have to try it next time I make this!

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