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 Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe


Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe. Click picture to enlarge.

Two key decisions to be made before starting this recipe, do I cook my own gammon / ham and do I soak the split peas overnight?

Read the recipe all the way through before starting it. This is a really tasty and nutritious soup which is well worth the effort. Make a batch of of it because it freezes very well.


 Preparation Time:  15 mins  Cooking Time:   55 mins
 How Difficult Easy  Freeze?   Yes

4 portions

This soup uses split peas, but you can just as easily use yellow or red split lentils instead (same weight and cooking instructions). Many old style recipes require that the split peas are soaked overnight before starting recipes but this is not normally necessary. However, be sure to read the packet instructions carefully. If the split pas are soaked overnight their cooking time can be reduced to around 40 minutes. This recipe does not require overnight soaking. 

2 hours cooking time but most of it is unattended

This split pea and ham soup recipe will fill four good-sized bowls.

The ham is shown in pictures below.




Cooked and chopped gammon / ham (see note at end of ingredients for different types of gammon / ham for this recipe). The weights are approximate.

8 ounces

225 grams

1 large onion



4 celery sticks - -
2 large carrots peeled



Split peas or split lentils 3 ounces 75 grams
Two sprigs of parsley (optional)



1/2 teaspoon of grated garlic or 2 fresh garlic cloves chopped up small - -
Salt and pepper to taste - add the salt at the end of cooking after tasting the soup to avoid over salting.  



Chicken or vegetable stock. This can be made by adding two cubes of OXO or Knorr to 2 pints / 1 litre of boiling water. 2 pints 1.2 litre

We used an uncooked boneless gammon joint throughout this recipe.  Whichever uncooked ham you use, you will need to cook it (see  instructions below) which will leave you with homemade stock for the soup.

Sometimes gammon can be very salty, especially gammon from supermarkets. To remove most of the salt, soak the gammon in water for two hours before cooking and pour away the water. Then simmer it for 15 minutes, pour away the water and add new water for the remaining cooking time.

If the joint you buy is too large, put the remaining gammon in the fridge and use it sandwiches.

As a very easy alternative, use pre-cooked ham which saves all the bother of cooking your own ham / gammon joint. We tried this and the taste was just as good but you never know what you you are getting if the ham is pre-cooked! If you decide to use pre-cooked ham, just ignore step 1 of the recipe.

Whatever ham is used, it's fine if it is smoked or un-smoked - we used un-smoked. 

2 Large-sized pans

Notes for the Cook on Split Pea and Ham Soup recipe:

A few random nutrition facts about split peas! They are a good source of: 

  1. Fibre (25 grams/1 ounce per 100 grams/4 ounces).

  2. Folic acid or folate

  3. Phosphorous

  4. Potassium

If you keep to the cooking times below you will end up with a soup where the vegetables still have a bit of their 'crunch' left, just the way we like it. Cooking for longer will soften the vegetables more.

No salt has been included in the recipe because the stock contains enough salt on their own. Taste the soup five minutes before serving and add any more salt at that point if you want.

How To Make Homemade Split Pea and Ham Soup
Split pea and ham soup - cook ham

Click on picture to enlarge

Make sure you have read the paragraph 'WHICH GAMMON / HAM?' above before beginning.

Pour 3 pints of water into a largish pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down until the water is simmering (barely boiling). Place the uncooked gammon in the pan. If the gammon is covered half way to all the way by the water you're OK. Chop the gammon into smaller pieces if it's not at least half covered. The cooking method is the same whatever ham or gammon joint you use. Cook for around 50 minutes.
Turn the ham over about half way through cooking.

Immediately after the ham is put on to cook, start on the vegetables. 

Chop up the onions, carrots and celery into small cubes. Click on the picture on the right (or the ingredients picture at the top of this page) to get a better idea of the size to chop the vegetables.

Split pea and ham soup vegetables chopped

Split pea and ham soup vegetables cooking Place all the vegetables, split peas, parsley and garlic into a pan, pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat so that the mixture is just simmering (just below boiling).

This will need to be cooked for around one hour, maybe one and a quarter hours if you want your vegetables soft.

The ham / gammon should be cooked after about 50 minutes, just enough time to prepare it before the vegetables are cooked.

Remove from the pan, and chop the ham into small cubes. Click on the picture on the right to give you a good idea on the best size for the cubes.

Remember, if you have cooked a much larger joint of ham than needed (we did), put the remainder in the fridge and use it for 'real' ham sandwiches over the next day or so.

Split pea and ham soup - chopped ham


Split pea and ham soup - decision time Vegetables cooked, ham ready, now is decision time for you! Do you want chunky split pea and ham soup or blended smooth split pea and ham soup? We went for the blended smooth version because the kids just hate lumps in their soup! Well, to be honest, we prefer it that way as well. 

If you want chunky soup, ignore the next step.

If you want a smooth soup, now is the time to 'puree' it before adding the chopped ham. We used a cheap blender which does the job really well. If you have a professional blender all the better. 

It is also possible to use a hand potato masher which will puree all the vegetables just as well.

Split pea and ham soup

Split pea and ham soup The final step is to add the ham to the soup and heat gently for a couple of minutes. Stir well and have a quick taste. More salt and pepper can added if the soup needs more seasoning.

Serve the soup into bowls and add the parsley if you have any available. This soup freezes well and will keep in the freezer for a month.


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