With Easter coming, we know many of you have a ham on the table.  This soup recipe is a great one to use with leftover ham. BUT just as delicious, we have offered substitutions to this recipe so you can make a vegan or vegetarian version as well!  Let us know what you think ~ this is an all-time favorite in our family.

Makes 8 servings. Vegan and Vegetarian options below recipe


  • 1 lb. dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 C onion, chopped
  • 1 C organic celery, chopped
  • 4 T minced fresh garlic
  • 1 C organic carrots, diced
  • 1 C organic yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 T dry thyme
  • 2 quarts of organic chicken broth (or ham stock)
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper (you can add more)
  • 5-6 cups diced smoked ham (if you have a ham hock to use, you can add in place of 3 cups of the diced ham)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
Rinse split peas and set aside.  In a large stock pot, warm olive oil on medium high heat and add in onions and celery.  Cook for 7-8 minutes and then lower heat to medium and add in garlic, carrots, potatoes, bay leave and thyme.  Cook 5-6 minutes longer, stirring ingredients constantly so they don’t burn.  Add in stock, bring to a boil and add in split peas.  Let boil for  a few minutes, then reduce to a simmer.  Add ham and cover.  Cook for one hour, checking in to stir about every 10 minutes or so.  IMPORTANT: Do not add salt until peas have fully cooked.
When peas are soft, check for consistency.  If too thick you can add more stock or water.  If too thin, I often take a cup or two out and blend, then pour back into soup.  Serve with a garnish or herbs, maybe some sour cream AND a big salad and crusty bread!

Cook’s Notes:

  • By eliminating the ham and substituting Vegetable Stock for the Chicken Stock, you have a beautiful vegan or vegetarian split pea soup! You may need to add a little more of the vegetables and adjust seasoning with a little more salt and thyme to add more flavor.
  • This is a really good freezer friendly soup so if you make extra, it serves as a great side or main dish to meals you’re planning for down the road!