This one-pot Split Pea Soup is tremendously heart-warming and comforting, and absolutely ideal to make with that leftover Holiday ham. A hearty soup loaded with tender split peas, delicious ham and lots of veggies!
Soak the split peas: Add the split peas to a pot and cover with 2 quarts of cold water. Soak over night.
Sauté vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables soften and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or until aromatic.
Add remaining ingredients: Pour in the chicken broth, water and stir. Add the split peas, bay leaf, dried thyme and ham bone. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1½ hours.
Finish the soup: Carefully remove the bone from the soup, cut off the meat and dice it. Return the meat back to the soup. Cook on low for another 30 minutes or until soup has thickened. Discard bay leaf and serve.
For a faster method of soaking peas, simmer them for 2 minutes, then soak for one hour.
If you're looking for an extra creamy soup, take about 1/4 to 1/3 of the soup (without the ham) and use an immersion blender until its smooth.
You should always rinse your peas thoroughly before soaking or cooking to remove any dirt particles.
If it looks like your soup is too watery, remember the longer it cooks, the thicker it gets. Not only that but it also gets thicker when cooling.
Add a little smoked paprika to the soup to enhance the smokiness of the ham.
If you don't have quite enough ham for your soup, adding some cooked bacon really helps to amp up the flavor.
Split pea soup can be kept refrigerated for about 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, cool the soup completely, then transfer to freezer containers or bags. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or gently warm the frozen soup in a saucepan over low heat on the stove top.