Split pea soup has been around for centuries, with the earliest known recipe tracing back to the Roman Empire. The soup is believed to have made its way to the United States of America in the early 19th century, brought over by French-Canadian immigrants. It quickly became a staple in the American diet, as it was both easy to make and inexpensive. The addition of ham to the soup was likely a way to add more flavor and texture, as well as to stretch the ingredients further.
Split pea with ham soup has remained a popular dish in the United States and can easily be found in restaurants and grocery stores. It has become an American classic, as well as a comfort food for many.
Make Split Pea and Ham Soup at Home
Making split pea and ham soup at home is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients and kitchen equipment.
-1 pound dried split peas
-1 pound diced ham
-1 onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-3 carrots, diced
-3 stalks celery, diced
-1 bay leaf
-1 teaspoon dried thyme
-6 cups chicken broth
-salt and pepper to taste
-Measuring cups and spoons
-20 minutes to prepare and sauté the ingredients
-1 hour to simmer and cook the soup
- Rinse the split peas in a colander and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the diced ham, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and thyme to the pot and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the rinsed split peas and chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or other herbs.
Split pea and ham soup can be prepared with a variety of different ingredients to make a unique and flavorful dish.
-Add diced potatoes or sweet potatoes for a heartier soup.
-Try adding a cup of diced bacon instead of ham.
-Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth for a vegan version of the soup.
-Stir in a cup of cooked barley or quinoa for added texture and nutrients.
-Garnish the soup with croutons, cheese, or a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt for a richer flavor.
Need other soup ideas? Check out our soup recipes.