Split Pea Soup

I think this split pea soup is the very soup about which was written:

Pea porridge hot, pea porridge cold, pea porridge in the pot nine days old.

After an hour on the stove, it gains a thick consistency, like a porridge. And the quantity of soup produced is so large that I definitely understand how it could sit around for 9 days. Ours sat around for at least 6–though in the fridge, mind you. And in a nice airtight container, for those concerned.

In her original recipe, Tracy says you can use bacon or ham, but I’m completely advocating the use of ham. Because the bacon, after simmering for an hour, is bound to get floppy–and who likes floppy bacon? The chunks of ham are totally satisfying and delicious. Troist me. This is a great comforting soup with awesome flavor, and very little prep work.

The ultimate test: the man of the house. He said (and I quote):

“Why don’t we eat things like this all the time?”

Bless his ever-loving soul. I love it when he says that.

And it’s a good thing he loved it, since we ate this soup all week long and it yielded no less than 4 meals for the two of us–plus a little extra for some hungry members of our Bible study.


( Serves 8 )

2 sweet potatoes or yams, or 1/2 butternut squash
1 large onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
2-3 cups ham cut into 1″ pieces
8 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
16 oz dried split peas
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 TBS dried sage
1 TBS fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Before we jump in, I must explain that my flash temporarily decided to be broken. I switched out batteries a few times, prodded it, swiveled it around–but it would not work. The lighting in my kitchen is very bad, but I was also very hungry and not willing to waste any more time messing with the flash, so I gritted my teeth and took some very bad pictures. Bad light . . . bad focus . . . bad color balance. Man, I’d really grown dependent on that flash unit for my food photography.

Anyway–less about Mr. Speedlight SB-600 and more about the veggies at hand!

Peel the sweet potatoes or yams, and chop ’em up (along with the carrots for OrangeFest 2011) into smallish cubes.

Dice the onion and celery . . .

. . . and cut the ham into 1” cubes.

Dice the basil and pretend I took a picture.

Thoroughly rinse and clean the split peas.

Combine all the ingredients in a very large pot.

Oooh, a shred of light is coming through the window!

It’s the first decent picture of the lot.

Don’t forget the herbs and spices, along with a generous amount of salt and pepper!

Bring to a boil over medium high heat . . .

. . . and rejoice that your flash suddenly decided to work again!

Once the soup boils, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer it for about an hour, stirring a couple times to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and creating a layer of burnination. Remove the cover of the pot during the final 10-15 minutes of cooking. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve hot!

You can also freeze it within 5 days. Or hope for the best and polish it off on day 6.

A note: the soup looks a little watery here, but after a night in the fridge it was so thick it definitely qualified as ‘porridge.’

It was so good that after eating it all week long, by the time I scooped up the very last spoonfuls from the very last bowl, I was actually disappointed.

I actually started plotting when I could make it again.

True story.

I think you guys will love this one!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Split Pea Soup

22 thoughts on “Split Pea Soup

  1. Kimby

    Jenna, your cooking “how to’s” are always so fun — and funny! I think your humor infuses into your food — no wonder it makes your hubby happy! (Besides the food tasting great, I mean.) 🙂

    1. Jenna Post author

      Isn’t it great when husbands ask that? It’s a sure sign that you’re doing something right in the kitchen!

  2. Veronica Miller

    I’m gong to have to start a board on Pinterest called “Jenna’s soups to try” b/c I’ve pinned so many! lol! I can’t wait to try this one. I’ve had split pea soup and loved it–but it wasn’t as pretty as this. Must make again.

  3. Skippymom

    Looks delicious. I have white bean and ham on the stove now – and you aren’t kidding – those beans [peas] make copious amounts. We use hamhock in our soups though. We like a stronger ham flavor.

    I can’t wait to make yours.

    1. Jenna Post author

      I will have to use a ham hock next time! There was a small bone in my piece of ham which I threw into the soup, but next time I’ll go for the gold. Hooray for great ham flavor!

  4. Tracy

    I’m so glad you loved the soup! And I’m going to have to agree with you; I’m definitely making it with ham next time. I liked the flavor from the bacon, but I think the texture of the ham goes better with the soup. Maybe I’ll take your reader’s suggestion and use ham hock!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Tracy, thank you so much again for posting such great recipes on your blog. I’m posting about your pumpkin spice latte syrup soon, so as you can see I’m getting quite addicted to cooking what you share!

  5. Sarah K.

    I’m glad your flash started working again, but I have to say, I was more rejoicing that your pot didn’t boil over! It’s looking dangerously close in that last picture.

  6. Food Jaunts

    Split pea soup is among my favorites. I never understood why some people talk about hating it. I mean, how could you go wrong? Split peas, ham and vegetable. It’s like a no-brainer for deliciousness

  7. Giselle

    I LOVE split pea soup! I can’t wait to make this. I can’t imagine how wonderful this homemade version will be since normally I just get it from a can.

  8. Veronica Miller

    I’ve returned to this recipe at least five times in the last month or so, and finally, I’ve decided I’m going to make it this week since I got some ham steaks on sale. 🙂 Seriously, this recipe has been haunting me ever since you posted. And I just had to leave this comment b/c I can’t believe I forgot to leave a comment about the “layer of burnination” and how it always makes me laugh every time I read it.

  9. Veronica Miller

    After being pleasantly surprised by your Turtle Cookies post today, I then realized I did the same thing and told you I was going to make this and then never came back! Well, I did make it and it was fantastico! Sooo yummy! I plan to blog it when I return and will link to you-thanks for sharing it!

  10. Pingback: Black Bean & Butternut Squash Burritos « Veronica's Cornucopia

  11. Carmen

    Jenna, how much salt and pepper do you usually add? I often add too much or too little so having a small sense of what’s normal would help, haha. Your soup was so delicious I’d really love to make it at home. 🙂

    1. Jenna Post author

      Awesome–I’m so glad you liked it! As far as salt and pepper, I have no idea . . . I guess I would add a couple tsp of salt, taste it, add another tsp, taste it, and add smaller and smaller amounts (tasting every time) until it’s right for you. Sorry I don’t have an uber scientific answer here. =)


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