Split pea soup is a comforting and nutritious soup that is made with dried green split peas, vegetables, and often a ham hock for added flavor. The soup has a smooth and creamy texture and is often served hot with a slice of toasted sourdough bread. Split pea soup can be customized to different dietary needs, as it can be made vegetarian by leaving out the ham hock and using vegetable broth instead.


  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (1 lb.) smoked ham hock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. dried green split peas
  • 8 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add ham hock and cook, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove ham hock from pot and add remaining oil.
  2. Add onions, leeks, and shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 6 minutes more.
  3. Add split peas, broth, thyme, bay leaves, and seared ham hock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until peas are tender, about 1 hour. (If the soup gets too thick, add water 1/2 cup at a time until desired thickness is reached.)
  4. When peas are tender, remove bay leaf, thyme, and ham hock. Remove any meat from ham hock and shred.
  5. Use an immersion blender or countertop blender to purée roughly 1/4 of the soup.
  6. Return puréed soup to pot along with shredded ham hock and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve topped with more fresh thyme and another crack of black pepper.


If you have leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If the soup thickens too much over time after it’s chilled, stir in some water or broth when you reheat leftovers to dilute it to your desired consistency.


To make it vegetarian, leave out the ham hock and consider using smoked paprika for the smoky flavor.
A ham hock is a secret ingredient that adds a ton of flavor to the soup.