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Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup

Homemade Creamy Split Pea and Ham soup is hearty, filling, nutritious and sooo much better than anything from a can.

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A bowl of Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup sits surrounded by whole carrots and crusty bread slices. - The Goldilocks Kitchen

How many of you grew up eating canned split pea soup? I certainly did, thanks to my dad; he loves the stuff. I liked mine with a little milk poured in to cool it down and make more creamy. It occurred to me the other day that I’d never set out to make a homemade version of this family favorite. So I whipped up a batch of Creamy Split Pea and Ham soup from scratch. You talk about “Mmmm Mmmm Good”!

Split peas lay on a baking sheet ready to be cooked into Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup. - The Goldilocks Kitchen
Always make sure to check your split peas for pebbles/rocks before you cook them. I like to pour mine onto a rimed baking sheet, it spreads the peas out and makes pebbles easier to spot.

What are Split Peas?

Split peas are a field pea, grown specifically to be dried and split along their natural seam. They cook faster this way, and don’t need to be ‘pre-soaked’. The popular food site The Kitchn explained the difference between split peas and lentils (which look almost identical).

Split peas are high in protein and fiber, and low in fat. There is no need to soak split peas before cooking, and they turn very creamy when cooked through. -The Kitchn

Onion, carrot and ham are cooking in a dutch oven for Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup. - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Since there is no need to pre-soak our cute little lentils for Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup, the recipe is very straightforward and simple! Saute diced onion, carrot and ham until the onions are cooked soft, then add a bit of garlic and herbs. Pour in chicken broth and a 1 pound bag of dried, split peas and simmer covered until the peas and carrots are soft.

Once the soup is ready, add two or three ladles of soup and one cup of heavy cream to a blender and puree. Stir the creamy puree back into the soup and you’re ready to serve your homemade batch of Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup! I highly recommend serving with a loaf of my Quick Crusty Dinner Bread.

Pressed garlic, dried sage and dried oregano are added to diced ham, carrot and onion for Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup. - The Goldilocks Kitchen

A Great Recipe for Leftover Ham

If you have leftover ham of any sort, it will be fantastic in Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup! If you happen to still have a ham bone with some ham attached, even better. Instead of cooking diced ham with the onions and carrots, just and the whole bone with the leftover ham on it when you add the peas and broth. Once the soup is done cooking, remove the ham and bone. When it’s cooled enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone, dice it up, and add it to the soup, discarding the bone.

An overhead shot of a bowl of Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup garnished with bacon bits on top. - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Once you taste a batch of homemade Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup, the canned condensed soup will pale in comparison. Don’t skip on the bacon bits for a garnish, they are amazing with this soup! I hope you give this recipe a try, and please comment and rate below. Enjoy!

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Creamy Split Pea and Ham Soup

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1 cup servings 1x


Real, homemade split pea soup is hearty, filling and nutritious and sooo much better than anything condensed in a can. 


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound diced ham
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound dried split peas, checked for pebbles
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Melt butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in garlic, sage and oregano and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  2. Stir in the ham, brown sugar, chicken broth, water, dried peas and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer covered for 40-50 minute, or until the peas are very soft. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf.
  3. Off heat, stir in the heavy cream. Ladle about two or three cups of soup into a blender and puree. (Alternatively, us a hand blender for a few seconds in the soup.) Pour puree back into soup and stir to combine. Garnish individual servings with a spoonful of crumbled bacon.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 392
  • Sugar: 5.4 g
  • Sodium: 1189 mg
  • Fat: 18.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Fiber: 12.8 g
  • Protein: 23.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg

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