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8 votes | 9768 views

We made this soup by combining the best of two from America's Test Kitchen and one from Cook's Illustrated's the Best New Recipe. I think this is a split pea soup that can't be beat!

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8


Cost per serving $1.80 view details
  • 1 lb split peas, rinsed
  • 1-2 pounds ham shank or other bone-in ham piece
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2.5 quarts water
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions minced
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 3 small new potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt and more to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)


  1. Bring the peas, ham, thyme, 1 tsp salt, and water to simmer in a large pot. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  2. Stir in the carrots, onions, celery and potatoes. Continue to simmer until the peas have softened, about 30 minutes. (Optional, saute carrots, onions, celery and potatoes in 1 Tbsp olive oil over high heat for 8-10 minutes until browned, then add the garlic cloves and saute for 1 more minute, before adding everything to the pot. This adds a little nuttiness to the flavor, but is not necessary for a great soup.)
  3. Remove the ham shank, chop, and add back to the soup. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice (optional), season with salt and pepper, and serve with a crusty bread!
  4. You can leave out the ham altogether for a still tasty dish. If you do so, I would add more salt liberally and perhaps 1/2 tsp of ground cumin for additional flavor.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 507g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 338  
Calories from Fat 48 14%
Total Fat 5.46g 7%
Saturated Fat 1.39g 6%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 367mg 15%
Potassium 1050mg 30%
Total Carbs 47.22g 13%
Dietary Fiber 16.6g 55%
Sugars 6.87g 5%
Protein 26.3g 42%



  • Nancy Miyasaki
    December 15, 2009
    I really enjoyed this hearty split pea soup!
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Ruthanne Degen
      March 16, 2010
      Made this but used a smoked ham hock wow what great flavor
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      This is a variation
      • Tom Nakfoor
        April 10, 2010
        Sounds just like the way I make and I agree, its great. I have a slight variation that you could try...I don't add potatoes and do add one roasted, skinned Pablano pepper chopped and a cup of heavy cream. Try it...adds just the right twist
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        This is a variation
        1 person likes this review
        • NOEL
          August 25, 2012
          it is the most awesome split pea soup ever and was so super easy to make....added just a bit of crumbled bacon when serving.....delicious..this is my go to recipe now!
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          This is a variation
          • Fat-Bottomed Girl Kitchen
            November 20, 2012
            Got 2 hours and a bag of peas? Make this soup!! This recipe is so easy and makes a delicious and hearty soup (and it is now part of my soup repertoire).

            My variations:
            * Smoked turkey leg (made stock from that before making this soup) instead of cured/smoked pork
            * Omitted salt (Step 1), and used both white and black pepper
            * 3 carrots, 1 celery rib
            * Added diced potatoes in with the meat in Step 3, and cooked 15 min (prevents mushiness)
            * Distilled white vinegar instead of lemon juice (cuts the saltiness)
            * Topped it with some crunchy, buttery croutons!

            My long-gone "Momma Lill" used to make me a big pot of her split pea soup, and I never thought I could make one as good--until now. Thank you, John, for publishing this recipe for those who don't have member access to America's Test Kitchen or Cook's Country.
            I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
            This is a variation

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